The royal Ford Escort will be auctioned later this month.
You don't normally expect a mundane 1981 Ford Escort family car up for sale to attract a lot of attention, but this is a very special example fit for royalty. That's because its first owner was none other than Diana, Princess of Wales, making it arguably one of the most famous Ford Escorts in the world.
The unassuming sedan was gifted to her by Prince Charles as an engagement present in 1981, two months before their Royal Wedding the same year. She used it as her personal car and often drove it to watch Prince Charles play polo. After giving birth to Prince William, she sold the Escort to an antique dealer in 1982 for £6,000 ($8,469 in today's money).
It was later sold to its current owner, a massive fan of Diana, who kept the car's royal history a secret from her friends and the public. Over 20 years later, Princess Diana's Ford Escort is crossing the auction block.
The current owner clearly cherished Diana's Escort because it's in great condition considering its age and comes complete with original paint and interior. It also only has 83,000 miles on the odometer. Naturally, Princess Diana's Escort was a range-topping Ghia model with wooden trim on the doors and plush velour seats. A silver frog mascot also adorns the hood as a replica of a gift Diana received from her sister, Lady Sarah Spencer.
Princess Diana's Ford Escort will be sold on June 29 at the Reeman Dansie's Royal Auction, where it's expected to fetch between £30,000 ($42,341) and £40,000 ($56,450) and will no doubt be snapped up by a collector.
One of Diana's most iconic cars was a custom Jaguar XJS Cabriolet with two seats added in the back for William and Harry. She was also regularly photographed driving her Audi 80 cabriolet, which sold at auction last year for £58,000 ($81,853). In the US, the Ford Escort was sold between 1980 and 2003 and was succeeded by the Ford Focus.