Bicycle used by Diana until palace advisors deemed it ‘unfit for a princess’ could sell for £9,000 at auction
Lady Diana had the bike before she married Charles and kept in until 1981
It was branded ‘the shame bicycle’ and she sold it to one of her friend’s father
Gerald Stonehill kept it for 27 years before selling it to current owner for £211
A bicycle Princess Diana had before she married Prince Charles could sell for £9,000 at auction today despite her advisors telling her it ‘wasn’t fit for a princess’.
Lady Diana Spencer bought the bike before she married into the royal family, keeping it until 1981 when staff told her it wasn’t appropriate.
After they branded it ‘the shame bicycle’ she sold the 1970s Raleigh traveller to one of her friend’s fathers, Gerald Stonehill.
He kept it in his garage for 27 years before selling it to its current owner for £211 in 2008.
It is due to go up for auction in Thame, Oxfordshire today, where it could fetch anything between £500 and £9,000.
Duncan Lang, auctioneer with Farnon & Lake, said: ‘This was Diana’s bike but when she got engaged to Charles it was said within the palace that it wasn’t very regal to be riding around London on a bicycle so it was sold and that was that.
‘It was only several years later that the story got out if you like and the bike became a really collectable piece of royal memorabilia.
‘It’s in really nice condition but has actually been quite difficult to put a value on.
‘Raleigh are among the best British bikes you can buy anyway, but with the excellent provenance who knows what it will make – royal collectors will pay big money for things if they want them enough.
‘We’ve been watching the online bids going up and up over the last few days and there were a few surreal moments that’s for sure.
‘The best thing is that buyers tend not to show their hands too early so once we get into the saleroom who knows what it could make!’
The bike has 26-inch wheels, three Sturmey Archer gears and it has even retained its original hand pump and is being sold alongside an original letter from Mr Stonehill, the previous owner purchasing direct from Lady Diana Spencer.
Completing the lot is a copy of the Evening Standard from August 1981, in which the two-wheeler features heavily.
Source: DAILYMAIL MAILONLINE
Tags: Princess Diana, Princess of Wales, Bicycle, Bike