Ford Escort car Prince Charles gave Princess Diana is up for auction

Ford Escort that Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana as an engagement present reappears after 20 years of being secretly driven by a fan of the late royal – and is set to fetch £40,000 at auction

  • Prince Charles gave Princess Diana Ford Escort car as an engagement present 
  • It has been uncovered after 20 years of being secretly driven by a lady owner
  • Tina Kirkpatrick never told anyone ‘little runaround’ once belonged to the royal

The Ford Escort car that Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana as an engagement present has been uncovered after 20 years of being secretly driven by a lady owner.

Tina Kirkpatrick was a fan of the late Diana, Princess of Wales but never told anyone her ‘little runaround’ once belonged to her.

She happily drove it around the Hertfordshire village she lived in, telling people who asked that the beloved silver motor had been her first car.

In fact the Ford Escort Mk III Ghia had been Diana’s daily runaround from May 1981 – two months before the Royal wedding – until August 1982.

The Ford Escort car that Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana as an engagement present has been uncovered after 20 years of being secretly driven by a lady owner. Pictured, on a visit to St Mary’s school in Tetbury with police bodyguard Graham Smith on 8 December 1981

Lady Diana Spencer in her Ford Escort car watching Prince Charles playing polo at Windsor on 1 May, 1981

Tina Kirkpatrick was a fan of the late Diana, Princess of Wales but never told anyone her ‘little runaround’ once belonged to her. Pictured, inside the ‘lost’ Ford Escort car that Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana

Diana regularly dove the 1980 car to visit Charles during their engagement, often being photographed in it at events such as polo matches.

Soon after taking ownership of the Escort, her elder sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, gave her a silver frog car mascot that Diana attached to the bonnet.

The Princess of Wales got rid of the car two months after giving birth to Prince William.

In 1995 the car was bought for £6,000 by an antiques dealer as a birthday present for his daughter. 

 The Princess of Wales got rid of the car two months after giving birth to Prince William. Pictured, the ‘lost’ Ford Escort car that Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana as an engagement present

The Escort still carries its original registration WEV 297W. Pictured, the ‘lost’ Ford Escort car that Prince Charles gave to Princess Diana as an engagement present

The Ford Escort Mark III Ghia was Diana’s daily runaround from May 1981 – two months before the Royal wedding – until August 1982. Pictured, Princess Diana watching Prince Charles playing polo at Windsor

Diana regularly dove the 1980 car to visit Charles during their engagement, often being photographed in it at events such as polo matches (pictured, 1 May, 1981)

Princess Diana driving her Ford Escort car at The Guards Polo Club. Bodyguard Colin trimming accompanies her on 16 June 19

It was then sold to Mrs Kirkpatrick who has taken great care of it, regularly getting it serviced an MoTd.

She has now decided to sell it at auction for an estimate £40,000.

The Escort has a 1.6litre engine, 83,000 miles on the clock and is in full working order.

It is being sold by Essex auctioneers Reeman Dansie.

Mrs Kirkpatrick, who is aged in her 50s, said: ‘Of course I knew when I bought it that it once belonged to Princess Diana, that is why I wanted it. I was a big fan of hers.

Mrs Kirkpatrick has now decided to sell the Ford Escort at auction for an estimate £40,000 (pictured)


Soon after taking ownership of the Escort, her elder sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, gave her a silver frog car mascot that Diana attached to the bonnet (pictured, left) and right, the interior now

‘I have driven it around as a second car ever since. A lot of people ask me why I had it and I used to tell them that it was my first car I passed my test in and that I was attached to it.

‘I felt that its history and provenance were so unique and I didn’t want many people knowing.

‘I have maintained it and had it regularly serviced and kept it in my garage. It is an excellent little runner and has always been reliable. I have had it for 20 years and now feel the time is right to sell it on.’

Lewis Rabett, of Reeman Dansie, said: ‘Obviously it is a humble Ford Escort but who its first owner was takes this car to a whole other level.

‘The vendor has been very coy about the true history of the car. She didn’t let on that it used to be Princess Diana’s car. I think she quite liked the fact that she was the only one who knew about it.

In 1995 the car was bought for £6,000 by an antiques dealer as a birthday present for his daughter, before being bought by Tina. Pictured, the Ford Escort now 

Tina said she has maintained the car, had it regularly serviced and kept it in her garage. Pictured, the exterior

Tina, who is aged in her 50s, knew when she bought it that it once belonged to Princess Diana, and said that is why she wanted it. Pictured, the exterior

Tina felt the car’s history and provenance were so unique that she didn’t want many people knowing. Pictured, the interior of the Ford Escort

The interior of the car boasts wooden trims on the doors and velour seats (pictured)

The Escort, that still carries its original registration WEV 297W, is being sold on June 29.

‘The car has spent most of its life in a garage and is in very good condition for a car of that age and is in full working order.

‘Diana didn’t have it for very long and when she got rid of it she kept the frog mascot. The one on the bonnet of the car now is a copy.

‘As Ford Escorts go this is a Ghia and was top spec for its time with wooden trims on the doors and velour seats.

‘There are a lot of people who collect Diana memorabilia, a name that has endured. There are also people who collect classic cars and this is the ultimate conversation piece for any garage.’

James Grinter, the managing director of Reeman Dansie, said he was amazed by the originality of the car which is important to collectors who put a high value on owning something that was a personal possession of the late Princess.

The Escort, that still carries its original registration WEV 297W, is being sold on June 29. 

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