Before ‘Shy Di’
A RARE GLIMPSE OF A FUTURE PRINCESS. PLUS: KATE GETS PAMPERED BY MUM WHILE WILL’S AWAY
The Way She Was
The photo was buried in the Daily Mirror archives, then purchased by a private collector. Mysteriously it was marked “Not to be published.”
Nine Years Later …
A sign of things to come?
This ’88 pic, also up for sale, shows Di observing a marriage conflict-resolution seminar, four years before her own union crumbled. “It’s the beginning of the great romance and the end,” says Bobby Livingston of RR Auction.
OUT OF THE PAST: A LONG-LOST IMAGE OF YOUNG DIANA
As if more proof were needed of Diana Spencer’s fresh-faced allure, a never-before-published photo of the 17-year-old princess-to-be (above) is going on the auction block. Taken in the French Alps in 1979, months before a fateful meeting with Prince Charles that would lead to a whirlwind romance and storybook wedding (and, well, we know the rest), the photo shows Lady Diana cuddled up in a chalet with blueblood Adam Russell, the great-grandson of former Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Now a deer farmer in rural England, Russell declined to comment when reached by People. But years ago he did speak with Diana biographer Andrew Morton, who contends that while Russell was “smitten” with the “giggly” future princess, “Absolutely nothing happened.”
Kate Gets Cozy
THE PREGNANT PRINCESS RESTS UP AS SHE TURNS 31 WITH A BIG YEAR AHEAD
The duchess laid low at her parents’ $7.8 million estate at the start of the new year. “I’ve seen Kate a few times in the past couple of weeks, just pottering around the village,” says a Bucklebury source. “She seems extremely happy.”
How’s Her Health?
As she enters her second trimester, Kate’s severe morning sickness appears under control. “You don’t feel great, but medication can bring it down to a normal pregnancy sickness,” says Caitlin Dean, spokeswoman for a pregnancy-support charity.
RAF pilot Will joined an attempted rescue of a man swept out to sea on New Year’s Day.
LONG DISTANCE LOVE
On Dec. 30 the Duchess of Cambridge was spotted at a Berkshire gas station buying cheddar crackers-a pregnancy craving worth cheering, given her recent hospitalization. But rather than fetching her salty snacks, her husband was 270 miles away, reporting for duty as an RAF helicopter pilot. Though used to long separations, in her delicate condition, “She’s spending a lot of time with her mum,” says royals author Judy Wade. Royal watchers predict a joyful reunion Jan. 9 for Kate’s 31st birthday. Something else to celebrate: the unveiling of the princess’s official portrait Jan. 11.
A Middleton Mini-Scandal
In class-conscious Britain, Kate’s upwardly mobile family again stands accused of capitalizing on their connections-by selling royal baby-themed plates and napkins on their Party Pieces website. But here’s the dish: A source says the items became available six months ago-before the upper-crust bun was in the oven.
Kate’s parents, Mike and Carole Middleton.