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Princess Diana’s 1981 Ford Escort heads to public sale

A 1981 Ford Escort limousine, previously owned by Princess Diana, is being auctioned off at Reeman Dansie, who plans to put the car under the hammer on June 29.

The car was given to Diana by Prince Charles as an engagement gift in May 1981, two months before her wedding, and was used by her until August 1982, according to the auction house.

An escort may not seem worthy of a princess, but this is at least the upscale ghia version. It also sports a silver frog hood ornament, a copy of a gift from Diana’s sister Lady Sarah Spencer, inspired by the fairy tale of a beautiful girl whose kiss turns a frog into a prince, according to the auction offer.

Princess Diana’s 1981 Ford Escort – Photo via Reeman Dansie

The current owner is a “great admirer” of the princess and has kept the history of the escort secret so far, according to the listing. According to a BBC report on the sale, auctioneers verified the authenticity of the car based on the vehicle’s history and registration number. The auction house also claims photos of Diana in the car – with the same WEV 297W plate it now bears – confirm the royal connection.

The escort is still wearing its original paintwork and upholstery and, according to the listing, currently shows 83,000 miles on its speedometer. This was the third generation of the Escort, characterized by a change from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive. Ford eventually developed some performance versions of the Third Ten Escort for the European market, but despite having one of the larger 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engines, this is not one of them.

Reeman Dansie expects the royal escort to fetch between £ 30,000 and £ 40,000 (about $ 42,000 to $ 57,000 at current exchange rates) at auction, noting that Diana’s Audi 80 Cabriolet sold for £ 58,000 last year .