"It was 20 years ago today": A small tribute to Lady Diana

This is just a little something to mark the 20th anniversary of Lady Di's untimely death. She may have been rich, privileged and difficult to live with at times but she certainly went the extra mile for the sick and needy when she didn't always have to or didn't always get recognition for it. She also went some way to modernising the British royal family but the other part obviously means so much more.  

This particular autograph is from a visitors book that she signed when opening a "Winter project" for the homeless on the Camden Road in London. Frustratingly and despite a precise date, I cannot find any record of the opening but I know that she also did private things for her favourite charities. In any event, I bought this from the guy who had run the project. I think the photo must have been left at the centre by Diana as it is a high quality print (by David Bailey).

  

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What a beautiful item from a beautiful (inside and out) woman. Diana was a good soul. I'll never forget hearing my mom exclaim, "She died!" "Who died, Mom?" "The princess...Princess Diana".
Eva, how much might one pay for an authentic Diana signature in today's market? I know they don't come cheap, of course. She was such a remarkable person. Here in the States, she was was extremely popular, certainly the most popular member of the Royal Family over here. I remember being glued to the TV watching her funeral. It really broke our hearts to see William and Harry proudly being there for their mother. I had just lost my father 4 months earlier; so I could relate to their pain, but I was 32 and not 15 or younger.
No doubt about the authenticity of that autograph. Beautiful.

Thanks Steve. I just happened to come across it at a collectors' centre where the seller had hired a cabinet. Luckily he was "on duty" that day so I could find out some of its history. I'm not sure if you have such collectors' centres in the US but the dealers usually take turns to "mind the shop" and there can be many dealers in one centre.

James, I think you might be pleasantly surprised to hear that Diana's autograph is not all that expensive if it is not on a photograph or on the mount of an official framed presentation photgraph.

I saw a similar item to mine listed in a UK auction catalogue for £200-£300 a few years ago. I don't know what it actually fetched but, judging by the estimates I've seen in other places like Bonhams, I doubt it went for much more than that, maybe £500.

Brief letters with no significant content, like thank you notes, seem to be around the £1,000 mark or even a bit less.  Christmas cards seem pretty comon and are usually estimated well under £1,000. With the cards you have to watch out for autopens, particularly if signed with Charles. Personally I'd rather have my visitors' book page than a Christmas card as there are probably thousands of those.

Signed photographs are the creme de la creme and I've seen official signed photographs go for £5,000.

I think the prices for Diana autographs probably fell quite a bit once the initial interest generated by her death subsided. I think they are currently somewhat undervalued and I'm sure they will increase gradually over the coming years. Anniversaries like the one that has just passed (and especially the 25th) will also fuel temporary highs I suspect.

You probably know this already but RR Auctions currently have a small Diana sale. Unfortunately there are not too many autographed items. There is one signed photograph that I would dearly like but we are probably at one of those "temporary high" points in terms of prices:

https://www.rrauction.com/browse_gallery.cfm?category=13.0

I have some diana signed stuff, including a signed three page letter.  The prices have def come down partly because of so many sigs and letters being  written. Diana's father had taught her to always write thank you letters after going anywhere. A three page letter with original enveloppe and any really personal /aytpical content will go for about £3,400 without commission;- but you can get a sig similar to Pug's for about £380-£420 without commission and def something nice for just under £1,000

R and R did have a hugh collection of personal letters she had written to her original flatmate over the years in this Diana sale;- but they appear at the moment to have been withdrawn;- something apparently to do with 'right to sell'.  I am sure the royal lawyers have been on the case. I was astounded that they had been offered for sale in the first place

We have antique and craft collectives, but if we have collectors centers like you're describing, I'm not aware of them.

There are loads in England. I thought I went to a couple in Conneticut and Boston when I was visiting a friend in the US around 20 years ago but maybe they were just large single-owner antique shops.

I think we're referring to the same thing. I thought you meant something more than antique dealers, like dealers in other collectibles.
Thanks for the information, Eva and Michelle.

pug did you look in the daily telegraph and The Times newspaper for that day as either one or both of the papers have all official engagements all the royals carry out day by day ?  If it isnt in there it will be an unofficial visit

Thanks Michelle, I did look on-line but The Times only goes back to the late nineties and The Telegraph doesn't seem to have an on-line archive at all.

I know the British Library has all the newspapers. When I am next in London I may try to look there. 

I know you can buy old copies of The Times but I don't really want to spend £50+ on the off-chance that it is in. If I did decide to buy the paper I presume I would have to buy the copy for that day rather than the day after - is that right?

you would only need the newspaper edition for the day but I spoke to someone today in the royal archives department at Buckingham Palace (where else??!!).  You need to send them an email of what you are looking for,it will take them about a month to reply one way or another as the staff member told me that they had a large backlog at the moment.  My advice is to say it is for a research project in case the person who is doing the researching is a pro charles supporter.  The staff I spoke to were v pleasant and here is the ridiculously long email you need

royalarchives@royal.gsx.gov.uk

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