Princess Diana’s Ford Escort engagement gift from Prince Charles sells for £52,000 at auction – Asia Despatch

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A Ford Escort once owned by Princess Diana has been bought by a museum in South America for over £52,000.

She was given the silver 1.6 Ghia saloon by the Prince of Wales as an engagement present in May 1981, two months before they married.

It became well known because Diana often drove it to watch Charles play polo.

Prince of Wales and his fiance Lady Diana Spencer, relaxing on a fence at Balmoral in 1981
Prince Charles and Diana at Balmoral in 1981

The bonnet features a silver frog, a copy of the original mascot given to the princess by her sister Sarah and which Diana kept when she sold the car.

The princess stopped using the vehicle soon after giving birth to Prince William in 1982 and it was later bought for £6,000 by an antiques dealer.

It belonged to a royal fan for around 20 years, who drove it only sparingly without disclosing its history to her friends.

The replica silver frog on the car's bonnet
The replica silver frog on the car’s bonnet

The car was sold in an online auction by Reeman Dansie Auctions, of Colchester, Essex, to a telephone bidder for £52,640, including VAT and the buyer’s premium.

The hammer price was £47,000, exceeding the pre-auction estimate of £30,000 to £40,000.

Lewis Rabett, from the auction house, said the winning bid came from a museum in South America and the car would be shipped there.

“The interest has been considerable pre-auction,” he said.

“Ending up in South America is testament to the level of interest globally that there’s been in the car.

“It’s also testament to Diana and her enduring legacy.”

The car still carries its original registration, WEV 297W, as well as its original paint and upholstery, and has 83,000 miles on the clock.

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