PRINCESS DIANA’S BIKE TO BE AUCTIONED!
FROM THE BUCKINGHAMSHIRE ADVERTISER – UK
A bike previously owned by Princess Diana is to go under the hammer at Amersham Auction Rooms next month. A letter from the vendor confirms the authenticity of the bike. It states: “I am pleased to confirm (and guarantee) that the bicycle delivered to Amersham Auction Rooms was bought by me from Lady Diana Spencer, at the time of her engagement to Charles Prince of Wales. The said Raleigh bicycle was considered inconsistent with her future status.
“At the time, Diana lived at Coleherne Court, around the corner from my house at One The Boltons, London SW10, where my son, also Charles, was a frequent visitor at Diana’s flat. The sale was leaked to the Evening Standard, although Diana had hoped that the sale should be concealed, for fear that unwelcome publicity might ensue. The death of Diana has, of course cancelled this moral obligation!
“The bike was stored in my house at 1 the Boltons unused.”
The following item was in the Evening Standard on August 28, 1981:
“The Princess of Wales has trained her friends admirably in the art of discretion. I am told that one procession that she thought she wouldn’t need in her new life was a bicycle.
“She was anxious, however, that it should not be sold for an enormous amount of money as Lady Diana’s Bicycle. So she went for a private sale through one of her flatmates, Charles Stonehill, a banker at Morgan Guaranty. But when I rang him, he was extremely discreet about the matter.”
The auction take place on November 6 at 10.30am.
Clever, dramatic, wildly provocative and inspired by a true story, Chasing Diana is a unique reading experience. Written as a “screenplay novel,” this historical fiction shares the eyewitness account of the early morning hours of August 31, 1997—the eve the world’s princess met a tragic and untimely death in the Alma Tunnel in Paris. Princess Diana’s demise, alongside her lover Dodi Al Fayed, thrusts James Goodrich, a second-rate actor, and Rhonda, his adoring wife, into the limelight, thereby turning their vacation into a havoc-filled nightmare. The paparazzi and the French authorities relentlessly pursue the couple—both desperately want the photos James unwittingly took of the crash. And in a marriage already pressed for change, the fame which James had sought as a fledgling actor eludes him yet again—but ironically propels Rhonda’s career sky-high as a writer and a first-rate actress. Just as one of their dreams is resurrected, the other will fall prey to old and unforgiving demons.
The ‘Sloane Ranger’ term was popularised by British writer Peter York and co-writer Ann Barr. Together they wrote 1982’s The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook, in which they identified the cult phenomena of young upper-class and upper middle-class people living in south west London. The traditionalist views and behaviours of Sloanes included a predilection for the countryside and their wardrobe reflected this.
Britain in the early 1980s was a perfect breeding ground for the Sloane style, with the connotations of money and conservative attitude it entailed. Resolutely conformist, their look comprised a loyalty to what their parents and grandparents had worn. It was the perfect look for well-bred boys and girls from the country who wanted to show they were above fashion and a little bit posh.
When the world started to learn about Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, it was the trigger that took the Sloane style into the mainstream. Diana wore traditional country clothes familiar to the upper classes, but made them visible nationally, becoming the archetypal Sloane Ranger.