Princess Diana unpublished photo auctions for $18,306

A previously unpublished photograph of a young Princess Diana, thought too incendiary to be published by the UK's Daily Mirror newspaper in 1981, has auctioned for $18,306 in the US.

It had come to the January 24-ending online auction with a $1,000 estimate. The sale price represents a 1,730% increase on the valuation.

Princess Diana not to be published photo
The whisky bottle, not the man, is thought to have prevented publication

The photograph - showing Diana reclining with a man and a bottle of whisky by her side - is dated February 26, 1981 on the reverse, just two days after the announcement of her engagement to Prince Charles.

The snap is thought to have been taken during a skiing trip in 1979, a year before she and Prince Charles became romantically linked. The man by her side has been established as her friend Adam Russell, the great-grandson of British prime minister Stanley Baldwin.

The auction house's Bobby Livingstone told Paul Fraser Collectibles that publication was halted not because of the presence of Russell, but for an entirely different reason.

"Because of the date on the back of it, two days after the announcement of the engagement, the editor decided not to run that photo - not with a Johnnie Walker bottle in the background," he said.

It was consigned from the Caren Archive, which purchased the Daily Mirror's archives seven years ago.

On the lasting appeal of Princess Diana collectibles, Livingstone told us: "Diana has always been one of those figures that we get intense interest for, prices are always very strong for premium Diana memorabilia."

You can capitalise today. View our selection of Princess Diana memorabilia.

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