Princess Diana's engagement gift from Prince Charles goes up for sale

·1-min read
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

On June 29th, Reeman Dansie auctioneers will accept bids on a Ford Escort Ghia once owned by Princess Diana. The car was an engagement present from Prince Charles given to then Lady Diana Spencer two months before their wedding.

Princess Diana was photographed frequently at the wheel of the diminutive four-door sedan during the early part of their relationship, including at official royal engagements and on trips to the grounds where she watched Charles play polo. The car later spent the past 20 years in the possession of a UK collector who kept it in near original condition and retained its original license plate number.

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

Automotive neophytes—especially those living in the United States where Escorts were a familiar and unglamorous sight—might question Charles’s choice. Maybe some other token of affection would have better said, “Welcome to the ruling family of the mighty British Empire!” than a slightly modified, 78-horsepower American economy car.

But hindsight is cruel and it should be pointed out that Brits really loved the Escort. The English- and European-manufactured versions were among the country’s top selling cars for many years. And the particular model Prince Charles gave Princess Diana was the result of a fruitful collaboration between German and English Ford manufacturers.

Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim Graham - Getty Images

The car has 83,000 miles on its odometer and the auction estimate is between £29,000 and £40,000.

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