Princess Diana's Ford Escort sells for over the odds at Essex auction

A 1981 silver Ford Escort 1.6L Ghia saloon once owned by the Princess of Wales before going under th

A 1981 silver Ford Escort 1.6L Ghia saloon - once owned by the Princess of Wales - before going under the hammer and selling for £52,640 at Reeman Dansie in Colchester, Essex - Credit: PA

A Ford Escort gifted to Princess Diana by Prince Charles has sold for more than £50,000 at a Colchester-based auctioneers.

The 1981 Ford Escort Ghia sold at Reeman Dansie in Colchester

The 1981 Ford Escort Ghia sold at Reeman Dansie in Colchester - Credit: Reeman Dansie

The 1981 Ford Escort Ghia saloon was gifted to the then Lady Diana Spencer by the Prince of Wales as an engagement present in May 1981, two months before their wedding day.

File photo dated 24/07/1981 of Lady Diana Spencer with her future husband Charles, the Prince of Wal

The car was gifted to Lady Diana Spencer before her marriage to Prince Charles - Credit: PA

She would often drive it to watch Charles play polo and used it until giving birth to Prince William in 1982, when it was later sold to an antiques dealer for £6,000.

It features a silver frog ornament on the bonnet, a copy of the original mascot given to the princess by her sister Sarah, which she kept when selling the car.

The ornament is a reference to the fairytale of a beautiful girl whose kissed turned a frog into a prince.

Auctioneer Lewis Rabett polishing the 1981 silver Ford Escort 1.6L Ghia saloon

Auctioneer Lewis Rabett polishing the 1981 silver Ford Escort 1.6L Ghia saloon - Credit: PA

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The Ford later belonged to a royal fan since around 2000 and had gone out of public view, with just 83,000 miles on the clock.

The 1.6litre saloon went under the hammer at an online auction by Reeman Dansie on Tuesday (June 29) morning, with an estimated price of £30,000 to £40,000.

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It was won by a South American museum via telephone for £52,640, including VAT and the buyer's premium. The hammer price was £47,000.

Lewis Rabett, of Reeman Dansie Auctions, said interest in the car stands as a testament to Diana and her legacy.

“The interest has been considerable pre-auction,” he said.

“Ending up in South America is testament to the level of interest globally that there’s been in the car.

“It’s also testament to Diana and her enduring legacy.”

Auctioneer Lewis Rabett polishes a 1981 silver Ford Escort 1.6L Ghia saloon once owned by the Prince

The car has only 83,000 miles on the clock - Credit: PA

Still carrying its original registration and original paint and upholstery, the car passed its MOT with no advisories on March 23 this year.

One of Princess Diana's other iconic cars, a 2.3L 1994 Audi 80 Cabriolet, sold for £58,000 at auction last year. 

The convertible, used by the Princess for a matter of months, was used by her to ferry around her sons, Prince Harry and Prince William.

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