What’s bright red and white and a favorite of Princess Di’s? Why, the sheep jumper, of course. And what’s that? Glad you asked: It’s a jumper (British parlance for a pullover sweater) with rows upon rows of white sheep forming an unmistakable—once you’ve seen it—design. Oh, yes, one black sheep is always knitted into the pattern as well, though its exact position amidst the woolly flock changes from one sweater style to the next.
The sheep jumper was the creation of a pair of enterprising English pals, Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne, both 28. Operating from a small shop on London’s South Bank, they are partners in a sweater-making cottage industry which they named Warm and Wonderful. “We always knit things we would like to wear ourselves,” says Joanna, and Sally adds, “The sheep jumper just seemed ironic, to have a sheep motif on a wool sweater.” They both insist they do not design with royalty in mind and that “by coincidence our style appeals to the sort of girl that Diana is. She has a wonderful sense of fashion, and our sweater is perfect for her casual style.”
The Princess of Wales never visited their shop, so Muir and Osborne are not sure how she came by her sheep jumper—probably a gift, they think. But ever since Di was first photographed some two years ago wearing hers, it has been the hottest-selling item, particularly among London’s “Sloane Rangers,” the trendy young herd that roams in and out of the fashionable boutiques around Sloane Square. Customers who don’t want to follow along sheepishly can opt for pig jumpers, frog jumpers, fish jumpers or any of a couple of dozen creatures of choice. And we now have one in stock!
A fresh-faced Princess Diana flashes a smile for the camera as she joins her husband on a shoot.
The candid photograph, taken in the early 1980s, offers a rare, unguarded glimpse at the life of the young princess away from the public eye.
It is one of a handful of never-before seen images of Diana and her new husband, Prince Charles, that have been recently unearthed after apparently spending decades forgotten in a drawer belonging to a former royal housekeeper.
Diana is seen wrapping up in a well-worn Barbour jacket and large silk scarf and sporting a pair of classic green Hunter wellington boots.
Similar attire is sported by the other members of the party, who were photographed warming up with hot drinks as they stopped for a picnic on the side of the road.
The collection of unseen photographs belonged to the late housekeeper of Princess Alexandra, the Queen’s cousin, at her home at Thatched House in Richmond, and were discovered in a drawer following her death.
They will be auctioned at Littleton Auctions in Evesham, Worcesteshire, tomorrow.
The photos have emerged for auction and the auctioneer says it is ‘very difficult’ to estimate their value.