It’s probably safe to say Princess Diana was one of the world’s most famous celebrities in the 1990s. While keeping most of her personal life confidential from the media and paparazzi, she was quite literally the most photographed person on the entire planet.

Admittedly, she was also known for her love of different mainstream cars and, among the beautiful Audi Cabriolet she had in the summer of 1994, one of her first cars was this brilliant Ford Escort.

The five-door hatchback was given to Princess Diana by Prince Charles as an engagement gift in May 1981, two months before the Royal Wedding. Diana used the third-generation model until August 1982 as personal transport during what is considered the happiest part of her relationship with the Prince of Wales. 

For about two decades, the car disappeared from public view but it was finally discovered and will be sold during Reeman Dansie's Royalty, Antiques and Fine Art Sale in Essex on 29 June. It is said to be in an “incredibly original condition” with factory paint and upholstery and just 83,000 original miles on the clocks. It will be auctioned with its original registration plates WEV 297W. 

Interestingly, there’s also a silver frog mascot on the bonnet, which is an exact copy of a gift from Princess Diana’s sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, “to remind her of the fairy tale of a beautiful girl whose kiss turns a frog into a prince.” 

According to preliminary estimations, this original 1981 Ford Escort is expected to fetch between £30,000 and £40,000 during the 29 June sale in Essex. According to the listing’s description, the current lady owner of the car cherished the car and its Royal history, “so much so she kept its Royal provenance a secret even from her friends.”