(NECN: Lauren Collins – Amherst, N.H.) - She was the people's princess. A royal for the world and the most photographed woman of her generation. But never before has the world seen this photo: A snapshot of a teenaged Lady Diana Spencer up for auction at RR Auction in Amherst, N.H.
“You can see it's blown up to an 8x10,” noted RR’s Vice President Bobby Livingston, “but if you look at the edges down here, you can see that it was probably just a regular Kodak photo taken at a very personal moment.”
It was taken around 1980 at a ski lodge some where in Europe and later sold to the Daily Mirror. Nobody's sure who took the picture or who the mystery man is behind her.
Eric Caren, who currently owns the photo, said, “Early speculation was it was her brother, but now I've heard earlier this morning from a friend that he read that it's a guy actually working as an auctioneer at Christie’s over in the UK. Or that did."
What makes this exceptionally rare is a note scrawled on the print by the then-photo editor at the Daily Mirror, "Not to be published," a nod to the civility that surrounded the royal family at the time.
“On the back of this photo, it's stamped Feb. 26, 1981,” Livingston said, “which is two days after the official announcement of the engagement of Charles and Diana.”
A photo like this could have been scandalous for the princess-to-be.
The 8x10 print may grab thousands of dollars. For Caren - who bought the photo from the Mirror's archives a decade ago - the sale is pure business.
“Unless I'm going to be the first collector to actually live forever, I have to continue to sell, as much as I love this material," Caren said.
The auction begins on line January 17th at www.rrauction.com