Diana, January 1981 Pre-Engagement in London

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RARE PRINCESS DIANA AUCTION OF HER DRESSER, FAY APPLEBY’S MEMORABILIA

Silver apple that marked Princess Diana’s first solo visit to

New York set  to fetch £3,000 at auction as her dresser’s sons

sell off memorabilia to get on  property ladder

  • Chris and Ben Appleby are 22-year-olds sons of Diana’s late dresser  Fay
  • Fay travelled world with Diana and Princess helped her in cancer  battle
  • Items include personal letters, signed photographs and memorabilia from their  trip to New York

By Bianca London

DAILYMAIL.CO.UK

A stunning silver apple specially  commissioned by Princess Diana to mark her first solo visit to New York after  separating from Prince Charles is to fetch more than £3,000 at  auction.

Diana jetted to the ‘Big Apple’ on Concorde  in 1989 and brought the city to a standstill as she travelled by motorcade to  visit children suffering from AIDS at the Harlem Hospital Center.

The Princess, who received a ‘Humanitarian of  the Year’ award from Henry Kissinger, marked the triumphant tour by presenting  four life-size silver apples to the staff who accompanied her.

Diana gave one of the silver apples to her devoted dresser Fay Appleby, it is expected to fetch £3,000 at auction
Diana gave one of the silver apples to her devoted dresser Fay Appleby, it is expected to fetch £3,000 at auction

Diana gave one of the silver apples to her devoted  dresser Fay Appleby, it is expected to fetch £3,000 at auction

Diana gave silver apples to her  lady-in-waiting Anne Beckwith-Smith, Royal protection officer -Insp Allan  Peters, baggage-master Sgt Ron Lewis and her devoted dresser Fay  Appleby.

Fay, who travelled the world with Diana for  six years, was secretly supported by the Princess as she fought a brave 15-year  battle against cancer.

She died in 2002 aged just 47, leaving behind  11-year-old twin boys Chris and Ben.

The pair, now 22, are selling the huge  collection of Princess Diana memorabilia their mother left them – to help them  get a foot on the property ladder.

Fay's twins, now 22, are selling the huge collection of Princess Diana memorabilia their mother left them - to help them get a foot on the property ladder
Fay's twins, now 22, are selling the huge collection of Princess Diana memorabilia their mother left them - to help them get a foot on the property ladder

Fay’s twins, now 22, are selling the huge collection of  Princess Diana memorabilia their mother left them – to help them get a foot on  the property ladder

The twins don't remember meeting Princess Diana or Prince Harry but the late Princess was a great friend of their motherThe twins don’t remember meeting Princess Diana or  Prince Harry but the late Princess was a great friend of their mother

Chris said: ‘We were only 11 when our mother  passed away but she told us how she loved working for the Princess and helping  her to look so amazing in all her wonderful dresses, outfits and  jewellery.

‘She was very loyal to Princess Diana and she  said she became a great friend – her best friend, in a way.’

The silver apple, which is engraved with the  Princess’s crowned ‘D’ monogram and the date ‘1st-3rd February 1989’, is to be  sold at auctioneers Reeman Dansie’s sale of Royal memorabilia in Colchester next  Tuesday.

A collection of Royal Invitations and other related Royal ephemera sent to Fay Appleby, including Royal Yacht Britannia information for members of the Royal Household booklet and Christmas card, plus Royal First Day Covers £50 - 70 are up for auction
A collection of Royal Invitations and other related Royal ephemera sent to Fay Appleby, including Royal Yacht Britannia information for members of the Royal Household booklet and Christmas card, plus Royal First Day Covers £50 - 70 are up for auction

A collection of Royal Invitations and other related  Royal ephemera sent to Fay Appleby, including Royal Yacht Britannia information  for members of the Royal Household booklet and Christmas card, plus Royal First  Day Covers £50 – 70 are up for auction

A fine Royal presentation carriage clock, by Halcyon Days Enamels is on offer tooA fine Royal presentation carriage clock, by Halcyon  Days Enamels is on offer too
It features a coloured enamel dial with oval cartouche with crowned D cipher, floral and ribbon decoration and Roman numerals It features a coloured enamel dial with oval cartouche  with crowned D cipher, floral and ribbon decoration and Roman numerals

Reeman Dansie auctioneer James Grinter said:  ‘The silver, hallmarked apple is an extremely rare and personal gift from  Princess Diana, one of only four, and we have given it a conservative estimate  of £3,000.’

A Royal colour presentation photograph of the  staff who accompanied the Princess on her New York visit inscribed ‘To Fay from  Diana 1989’ is expected to sell for £500 to £700.

There are also two presentation photographs  of Prince Charles and Princess Diana relaxing aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia  with their staff – including Fay – signed by the couple which are expected to  fetch £300 to £500 each.

The auction includes a gilded brass carriage  clock carrying Diana’s crowned ‘D’ cipher engraved with the inscription ‘Presented by HRH The Princess of Wales’, which is estimated at £1,500 to £2,000.

The Prince and Princess of Wales - signed Royal presentation photograph of the Royal couple with their staff on board the Royal Yacht Britannia will be sold
The Prince and Princess of Wales - signed Royal presentation photograph of the Royal couple with their staff on board the Royal Yacht Britannia will be sold

The Prince and Princess of Wales – signed Royal  presentation photograph of the Royal couple with their staff on board the Royal  Yacht Britannia will be sold

A humorous birthday card to Fay Appleby inscribed and signed - 'From Diana' is expected to fetch £200 - 300A humorous birthday card to Fay Appleby inscribed and  signed – ‘From Diana’ is expected to fetch £200 – 300

Fay was with Diana on the 1985 visit to  Washington when she famously danced with John Travolta.

Before her death, Fay recalled: ‘Evelyn and I  had helped her into the lovely gown and she came back looking flushed. She  giggled and said “Fay, I’ve just danced with John Travolta.” I giggled along  with her. I don’t think it was planned.’

She recalled how newlywed Diana joked: ‘Phew!  I’m glad that’s over – just like any other bride,’ as she helped her down from  the coach after the Royal Wedding in 1981.

The auction includes two 18-carat gold Baume & Mercier ladies’ watches bearing the crests of the Saudi Royal family and  the Emir of Qatar, are estimated at £200 to £300.

Fay’s life was turned upside down just three  weeks before her wedding to RAF corporal Steve Appleby in October 1987, after  doctors told her a lump on her tongue was malignant.

A heartfelt thank you letter from Diana, discussing her visit with Prince William to see Fay and her twin boys and for a birthday present - 'From your devoted Diana' - with original envelope is expected to collect £500 - 700
A heartfelt thank you letter from Diana, discussing her visit with Prince William to see Fay and her twin boys and for a birthday present - 'From your devoted Diana' - with original envelope is expected to collect £500 - 700

A heartfelt thank you letter from Diana, discussing her  visit with Prince William to see Fay and her twin boys and for a birthday  present – ‘From your devoted Diana’ – with original envelope is expected to  collect £500 – 700

Royal presentation Halcyon Days enamel Easter egg box inscribed by Diana - 'To Fay, wishing you a very happy Easter and lots of love from Diana' will fetch £200 - 300 at auction
Royal presentation Halcyon Days enamel Easter egg box inscribed by Diana - 'To Fay, wishing you a very happy Easter and lots of love from Diana' will fetch £200 - 300 at auction

Royal presentation Halcyon Days enamel Easter egg box  inscribed by Diana – ‘To Fay, wishing you a very happy Easter and lots of love  from Diana’ will fetch £200 – 300 at auction

When Fay broke the devastating news to  Diana, the Princess hugged her and said: ‘I’m so sorry, Fay. Don’t worry, I’ll  help in any way I can.’

Fay was told she would have to undergo a  two-month course of 40 radiation treatments and Diana secretly accompanied her  to London’s St Bart’s Hospital whenever she was free.

Speaking in 1997, Fay said: ‘The Princess was  a great comfort to me when I needed her. When she couldn’t come. she gave me her  chauffeur to drive me there. She was incredibly supportive.

‘I decided to go ahead [with the wedding] and  the Princess asked if she could come. I was thrilled. We had to keep it secret.  Diana said “I don’t want anything to overshadow your big day, Fay”.

Fay travelled the world with Diana for six years and fought a brave 15-year battle against cancer, secretly supported by the Princess, before she sadly died in 2002 aged just 47Fay travelled the world with Diana for six years and  fought a brave 15-year battle against cancer, secretly supported by the  Princess, before she sadly died in 2002 aged just 47

‘When I walked up the aisle, I saw her  sitting at the back of the church and we shared a smile. She signed the register  and stayed for the meal.’

Diana also kept her dresser’s spirits up by  sending her a string of saucy birthday cards.

They include one showing a couple with a  corgi on a castle’s turret with the caption ‘It’s not much, but we like to call  it home.’

Another shows a silver-haired pensioner  climbing into a Mr Universe suit in front of his wife in bed with the message ‘May all your birthday dreams come true.’ Signed by Diana, they are estimated at £200 to £300.

Auctioneer Mr Grinter said: ‘This is a  fascinating collection of letters, photographs, cards and items which shows how  two women from very different backgrounds came to work so closely together and  build up such a strong friendship.

‘It is very touching to see how much care and  support Princess Diana showed towards Fay and her two sons during her  illness.’

Six-footer Chris. of Taunton, Somerset,  joked: ‘My mother told me Princess Diana once changed my nappy at a barbecue at  Highgrove, but I’m afraid I was too young to remember it.’

Fay attended Princess Diana’s funeral at  Westminster Abbey after was killed in Paris 1997. She said: ‘Diana touched so  many people. The memories of our time together are so precious. It was a  privilege to be a part of her life.’

Sadly, brave Fay lost her own battle against  cancer in 2002.

In another lot, one of the first pieces of  Prince William and Kate’s Royal Wedding cake to be sold in its original  presentation tin is estimated to fetch £200 to £300.

Reeman  Dansie’s auction of Royal memorabilia in Colchester on November 20.