“Life is mostly froth and bubbles…two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s trouble and courage in your own.” – Princess Diana
Birth to Teenage Years
The Princess Diana Museum is honored to display the largest collection of Lady Diana Spencer’s personal belongings from since she was a baby throughout her teenage years, outside of her family home at Althorp Estate.
All of these historical items were gifted to friends or charities during her lifetime and have now found their home at the Princess Diana Museum for you to enjoy.
An extensive collection of over 60 items Diana gifted to a homeless mother she met in Knightsbridge in 1979 before she was married until her untimely death. The historical items include dresses and shoes Diana wore as a baby, toys and games Diana once played with as a child, Diana’s first manicure set, her first preschool suitcases, cards and published books about Diana herself which she signed and would sit and read with the family after she was married.
Very rare items once belonging to Diana as a teenager include her first amethyst friendship ring, a string of pearls given to her by her “Granny”, hats & gloves she wore as teen, childhood books, cassette tapes from her Beatles collection, her LP Album collection including; ABBA, Beatles, Wham, Bryan Adams, David Bowie, Eagles, John Lennon, 100CC & items of clothing she wore as a teen.
Raine Spencer’s Renovation
Raine, Countess of Dartmouth and Lady Diana’s father Earl Spencer were married at Caxton Hall, London, on 14 July 1976. As Countess Spencer, Raine was unpopular with her stepdaughter Lady Diana Spencer and her siblings, who referred to their stepmother as "Acid Raine". In the mid 1980’s Raine Spencer cleaned out Lady Diana’s Spender’s bedroom laying out all of her personal belongings on a table and informing the staff of Althorp they could take whatever they wanted…..they did….and years later these historical items once belonging to Lady Diana Spencer have found their way back to The Princess Diana Museum.
These items include Diana’s sweater worn before marring HRH Prince Charles, teenage photo album pages, Harrods handbag & clutch, Vest, gloves & preschool case.
Diana; once married donated a lot of the clothing she wore before her marriage to “HELP THE POLAND FUND” and help Lady Salisbury on her mission to help Poland during a time of crisis….
The Princess Diana Museum is proud to exhibit items Diana donate to “Help The Poland Fund” including: two of Diana’s baby blankets which she used as a child, warm baby clothing she once wore, she also donated her ski pants along with a pair of HRH Prince Charles riding pants, a wool coat which you can see displayed at The Princess Diana Museum.
The Ski Pants
This is a special image where we get to see Lady Diana hugging her classmate during a ski holiday organized by the Institut Alpin Videmanette in Switzerland, a finishing school where she studied for only one term.
"I hated going to the finishing school except for skiing," she wrote in a letter to her nanny Mary Clarke on December 1978.
The story goes that Diana had saved up her own money to buy these ski pants. Princess Diana later donated them to help with the martial law crisis in Poland in the 1980's. Diana's Ski Pants were found rolled up together with a pair of Prince Charles’s riding pants (pictured below right).
In her early teenage years Princess Diana owned and wore a Marks & Spencer St. Michael white acrylic cable-knit jumper sweater with ring-neck collar (Size 18 /Euro 46-48), with the label,
"D. Spencer," sewn into the collar.
Sally Fell explained, the head chef at Althorp, in part: "I was employed as head chef at Althorp House during the 1980s when Diana, Princess of Wales, was a regular visitor. During this period Raine Spencer was in the process of totally redecorating Althorp in her own style. As Diana
now permanently resided in London, one of the rooms listed for redecoration was her old bedroom and the butler at the time, Carl Ackerman, was instructed to remove all of Diana's belongings and offer them to the staff, or dispose of them if no interest was shown.
All the items were placed on a long table in the courtyard, and we the staff were invited to take what we wished, which is how I came to possess Diana's casual white sweater." As most of Diana's childhood clothing is held at Althorp, very few pieces of her clothing from this period have ever been offered for sale.
Visit The Princess Diana Museum to view extremely rare, never seen before items from Diana’s teenage years including: Teenage Sweater, Ski Pants, Cape, Burberry Wool Coat, Sewing Box and much more.
Image Source: © Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images
Diana wearing the sweater while sitting on top of her prized Volkswagen (which she acquired in 1979) with flatmate Virginia Pitman.