A Ford Escort that Prince Charles gave to his fiancee Diana as an engagement present has sold at auction for over £50,000.
The Ghia saloon was gifted to Lady Diana in May 1981 – two months before the pair wed – and she continued to use it until August 1982.
Since then, the 1.6-litre classic has been in private ownership and it has now gone under the hammer at Reeman Dansie Auctions of Colchester, Essex.
The auctioneers initially gave the motor a guide price of up to £40,000 but an intense bidding war saw that figure blown out of the water.
The Escort eventually sold for a hammer price of £47,000 – rising to £52,640 after auction costs.
It came with 83,000 miles on the clock as well as its original cloth interior and paperwork.
It was also sold with a number of personal touches linked to Diana, most noticeably a frog mascot on the bonnet.
The emblem is a copy of a gift from Diana’s sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, to remind her of the fairy tale in which a girl kisses a frog to turn it into a prince.
The previous owner – a ‘great admirer’ of Diana – owned the car for several years but kept its provenance largely secret out of respect.
The auction follows on from the sale of Diana’s Audi convertible which fetched £58,000 in March last year.
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