Princess Diana's Letters to Friends During Divorce from Charles Sell at Auction for $170,000

Lay's Auctioneers said that proceeds will be donated to charities close to the late Princess of Wales' heart

The Princess of Wales stands next to her husband, Charles the Prince of Wales, during a function held in their honor February 11, 1987 in Bonn, Germany; Princess Diana letters up for auction
Photo: Georges De Keerle/Getty Images; Lay's Auctioneers

Some of Princess Diana's intimate letters have sold for a six-figure sum.

On Thursday, Lay's Auctioneers announced that a collection of the late Princess of Wales' letters to friends during her divorce from then-Prince Charles sold at auction for $169,663. The 32 notes, written on Kensington Palace stationery with Diana's royal cypher, sold in individual lots in a sale titled "Diana, The Private Correspondence of a Princess."

Diana sent the letters to Susie and Tarek Kassem from 1994 to 1997, the last three years of her life. News of the auction was announced earlier this month, where its contents were described as "astonishing" and "confidential."

Princess Diana letters up for auction
Lay's Auctioneers

"Susie & Tarek Kassem, as very close friends of Diana, Princess of Wales, have treasured these letters for over 25 years. They reflect the special and loving relationship they had with the most unique women that they had ever known," Lay's said in a statement. "Now, in 2023, the ownership of these poignant documents is a responsibility that the Kassems do not wish to pass on to their children or grandchildren. They have decided to sell the letters and use proceeds of the sale to support some of the charities that were close to Susie and Diana's hearts."

The beneficiary charities were not named in the statement, and the U.K. auction house said the Kassems were keeping some of the "more personal and confidential letters" from Diana.

Prince Charles And Princess Diana On Their Last Official Trip Together - A Visit To The Republic Of Korea (south Korea).they Are Attending A Presidential Banquet At The Blue House In Seoul
Tim Graham Photo Library

The letters give a glimpse into how the princess was feeling as her split from Charles became solidified. After 11 years of marriage, Charles and Diana separated in December 1992, with a divorce made official in August 1996. One year later, she died in a car accident in Paris at age 37.

In Lot 418, which sold for $27,643, Diana thanked Susie for sending her flowers — "a lovely start to the week" — and voiced her suspicions that her Kensington Palace phone was bugged.

Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales
Princess Diana Archive/Getty

"As I don't have a mobile it is difficult to discuss personal items. As my lines here are constantly recorded and passed on," she wrote in a note dated May 20, 1996.

"If I'd known a year ago what I'd 'If I had known a year ago what I'd experience going through this divorce, I'd never have consented, it's desperate and ugly," she added.

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Months later, in a letter dated Dec. 17, 1996, Diana thanked Susie for sending her flowers around the holidays, a gesture especially appreciated "not being a lover of Christmas."

"I hope 1997 will be an easier year for us all," she added.

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