The Queen has met Nicola Sturgeon as her week-long trip to protect the Union continues today, and told the First Minister she was delighted to be back in Scotland for the first time since Prince Philip died.
The women, both wearing light blue, held a socially distanced meeting at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, this afternoon.
The Queen received Ms Sturgeon just after midday, telling her ‘it’s lovely to have you back here’ and that ‘a year’s gap is incredible’ – a nod to her shielding at Windsor Castle with her late husband. The First Minister smiled and replied: ‘It’s great to see you in person after so long. It’s lovely to have you back here’.
Her Majesty beckoned the SNP leader to take a seat and remarked on the gap between the chairs saying: ‘It’s still rather distanced I’m afraid’. Ms Sturgeon replied: ‘Well that’s very wise’ and nodded when the monarch said: ‘You must be quite used to that’.
Her Majesty was animated during their chat, smiling and waving her arms as she listened to Ms Sturgeon before receiving Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone.
The Queen is leading a Royal charm offensive to help persuade Scotland to resist the demands of nationalists for independence – with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge playing a key supporting role.
The trip, which is being discreetly backed by Downing Street, began yesterday with a trip to the Irn Bru factory in Cumbernauld with Prince William accompanying his grandmother and even trying some of ‘Scotland’s other national drink’.
William was at a shipyard on the Clyde today and earlier this year gave a deeply personal speech in which he described the ‘special place’ that Scotland had in his heart, a country which he said held both some of his ‘happiest memories’ and his ‘saddest’.
It was at Balmoral where he learned of the death of his mother Diana, in 1997. And it was at St Andrews where he met and fell in love with Kate Middleton.
Ahead of the Queen’s meeting with the First Minister, there is a background of tension dating back years since they first met seven years ago.
Just last December furious Tories hit out at Ms Sturgeon’s ‘swipe’ at Prince William and Kate Middleton over their whistle-stop trip to Scotland.
The Scottish leader revealed at a daily briefing that the country’s government had reminded the Palace of the strict Covid restrictions north of the border ahead of the couple’s morale boosting tour. Travelling across the border at the time was permitted for work purposes and royal sources said that was exactly what the trip was, but Ms Sturgeon chose to warn them anyway.
Queen Elizabeth II receives First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon during an audience at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week
The visit to Scotland, which is in its second day, marks the 95-year-old’s first official visit north of the border since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh
The Queen smiled as they sat down for discussions at the time where the First Minister is pushing for a second independence referendum
The Queen appeared animated on camera and also listened intently to Ms Sturgeon, who has had a few bumpy moments with the Royal Family
Queen Elizabeth II also received Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone today
The Queen met with veterans during the opening of the the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum in Stirling today
The monarch appeared in high spirits as she visited the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum during a visit in Stirling today
The Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, walks with apprentice Cara Shannon during a visit to the BAE Systems shipyard in Glasgow today
Sophie Countess of Wessex arrives to visit the newly opened St James Quarter shopping district in Edinburgh with her husband Prince Edward today
Prince William: My grandfather would have enjoyed tour of Royal Navy shipyard on the Clyde
The Duke of Cambridge spoke movingly about the late Duke of Edinburgh after touring a warship under construction, saying his grandfather would have been fascinated by the skills and technology on display.
William visited a shipyard to meet the team building HMS Glasgow on the banks of the River Clyde and announced that the Duchess of Cambridge has become the sponsor of the Royal Navy frigate and will officially name her.
On arrival at the BAE Systems yard in Govan, Glasgow, the duke met a group of staff in the shadow of the towering City Class Type 26 frigate.
When told that the two halves had recently been welded together, William joked: ‘Who’s responsible for the middle joining up?’
Impressed by the engineering challenge, he added: ‘It’s a real feat to be able to sandwich these two together.’
The duke also took part in a steel cutting ceremony to mark the start of the work on HMS Belfast, a City Class Type 26 global combat ship.
Before pressing a button to begin the underwater process, William told gathered staff and senior BAE Systems executives: ‘It is a real honour to see the Navy’s incredible new Type 26 ships under construction.
‘The scale of achievement is truly staggering, and all the staff I’ve met here today are rightly proud of what you are doing.
‘Proud not just because you are creating these cutting-edge ships, but because you are supporting the Royal Navy and the national security of the United Kingdom.’
He added: ‘My family’s affection for the Royal Navy is well known, and, as I saw the work taking place here today, I was thinking of my grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. He would have been fascinated and excited to see such advances in skills and technology being put into practice.’
Philip served with the Royal Navy during the Second World War, had a long association with the service after leaving, and also had a passion for engineering.
The Queen’s late consort once said in an interview: ‘The whole of our infrastructure, from sewers to power supplies and communication, everything that wasn’t invented by God is invented by an engineer.’
William’s visit to the shipyard was originally due to take place in May but Covid restrictions meant it had to be postponed.
He said: ‘Her Majesty the Queen has approved the appointment of my wife Catherine as sponsor of the superb ship we see taking shape outside – HMS Glasgow. I know that Catherine will be delighted to join you here in Glasgow for the naming ceremony in due course.’
Before leaving, William was presented with three wooden models of Royal Navy warships for his children to paint.
Thomas Augaitis, who built the models with a fellow apprentice, was part of a group that handed over the gifts to the royal.
He said: ‘The duke said it was going to get messy and he wanted the kids to be gentle with them so they didn’t break.’
The Queen’s four-day visit will celebrate Scottish culture, achievement and communities.
She will be joined by her grandson, the Duke of Cambridge – who is known as the Earl of Strathearn while in Scotland – at engagements on Monday, while her daughter, the Princess Royal, will accompany her on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Queen looked radiant in blue yesterday as she made her first trip to Scotland since the death of the Duke of Edinburgh. The 95-year-old monarch and her husband of 73 years spent some of their happiest times north of the Border and she was supported by her doting grandson Prince William as they sampled Scotland’s favourite drink: Irn Bru.
Ahead of the crucial trip, in a tweet, the Palace explained: ‘Her Majesty is connected to Scotland by ancestry and deeply held affection.
‘The Queen has visited almost every area of Scotland from Outer Hebrides to Dumfries, meeting Scots from all walks of life.’
But it comes at an especially tense time when Ms Sturgeon is demanding a second independence referendum in the wake of the Holyrood election in May – but Boris Johnson’s Government won’t consider it.
Some say that some sections of the SNP want a referendum on the monarchy if they win independence in the next decade.
In 2014 Ms Sturgeon was sworn in as a member of the Privy Council and met the Queen for the first time. However there was an error when Buckingham Palace introduced her as the First Minister of the Scottish ‘executive’ – not the Scottish ‘government’.
Her grandson, William, and daughter, Princess Anne, are also taking part, giving the Queen support on her visit.
The monarch is also expected to stay for a few days at Balmoral, Aberdeenshire, at the end of the week privately.
But yesterday it was very much business first – with a trip to the Irn-Bru factory putting some fizz into the visit.
While the sovereign tends to shy away from eating or drinking in public, the 39-year-old future king – known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland – had no hesitation in trying the country’s famous product.
He appeared intrigued when upstream manager Colin Reilly brought over a small jar containing the original 1901 clear ‘essence’ of Irn-Bru – a secret recipe of 32 ingredients known to three people.
After gingerly taking a long sniff the duke said: ‘I’m trying to guess what’s in it but that’s quite hard, isn’t it?’
Mr Reilly replied: ‘I’d love to tell you’, leaving William smiling as he added: ‘This is a closely guarded secret.’
Commercial director Jonathan Kemp asked if he had tried their product while a student at the University of St Andrews.
William said no, but explained that he had tried it during his time in the Army when it was often served as part of lunch. ‘Delicious!’ he said, knocking it back.
He and the Queen were at Irn-Bru maker AG Barr’s factory in Cumbernauld, Lanarkshire, where they officially opened the company’s new process facility.
The Queen is carrying out events over the next four days with members of her family as part of her traditional trip to Scotland known as Holyrood Week.
The monarch, who has continued with her duties as head of state despite grieving for her late husband, is staying at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
In April the Daily Mail revealed that the Queen would continue with her public commitments after a short period of mourning but would be supported more by family members in the future.
The Queen’s presence in Scotland along with William and Anne is also notable at a time when the future of the Union is threatened by supporters of separation.
Buckingham Palace was at pains on its social media channels to stress the Queen’s affinity with the country, posting: ‘Her Majesty is connected to Scotland by ancestry and deeply held affection.
‘As well as spending family summers at Balmoral Castle, The Queen has visited almost every area of Scotland from the Outer Hebrides to Dumfries, meeting Scots from all walks of life.’
The Queen, 95, has arrived in Scotland for the first official visit north of the border since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Cambridge, known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland, tries Irn-Bru as Queen Elizabeth II as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood Week
The 95-year-old monarch was joined by her grandson as she officially opened the factory’s new process facility
The Queen smiled to the crowds as she arrived to open the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum today
The monarch departs the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum during a visit to Stirling Castle on June 29
The Queen unveils a plaque to open the new Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle
The monarch views exhibits in the new Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle as part of her trip to Scotland
Veterans of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders await the arrival of the Queen to open the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders’ Museum
It also quoted her speech marking the 20th anniversary of the Scottish parliament, when she said: ‘I have noted on previous occasions my great affection for Scotland, and the many happy and personal connections I enjoy with this wonderful country.’
Yesterday saw the palace also post the company’s ‘strong arm’ emoji as it described her visit to the Irn-Bru factory.
Pretty in pink! Sophie Wessex puts on a summery display in pleated skirt and white blazer as she arrives alongside husband Prince Edward at newly opened St James Quarter shopping district in Scotland
The Countess of Wessex put on a stylish display as she arrived to visit the newly opened St James Quarter shopping district in Scotland today.
Sophie, 56, who arrived alongside her husband Prince Edward, 57, looked the picture of elegance in a pink pleated skirt, white top and blazer.
The mother-of-two completed her ensemble with a pair of cream stiletto heels and wore her blonde her in a loose half-up, half-down style, revealing her dangling earrings.
Her Majesty’s daughter-in-law Sophie, who has often been noted as the monarch’s ‘favourite’ family member, added a touch of glam to her outfit with a long silver chain which featured pink opaque pearls, and could be seen holding an elegant clutch bag as she was welcomed to the organised event.
The Countess of Wessex, 56, put on a stylish display as she arrived alongside her husband Prince Edward , 57, to visit the newly opened St James Quarter shopping district in Scotland today
Prince Edward, who donned a protective face mask, looked dapper in a blue checked shirt, navy blazer and beige chinos
The natural beauty kept her makeup minimal, completing her look with a nude lip gloss, light layering of mascara and dash or blusher.
Meanwhile, Prince Edward looked dapper in a blue checked shirt, navy blazer and beige chinos.
The royal was also seen putting safety first by adhering to government guidelines and wearing a Royal Yacht Britannia protective face mask.
The visit comes a day after the Countess of Wessex was left howling with laughter as the couple visited their Scottish earldom, Forfar and enthusiastically tried her hand at golf.
Prince Edward and Sophie Countess of Wessex put safety first in protective face masks they visited the newly opened St James Quarter shopping district today
Sophie completed her ensemble with a pair of cream stiletto heels and wore her blonde her in a loose half-up, half-down style, revealing her dangling earrings. Pictured, with Prince Edward
The royal couple were given a your around the newly opened St James Quarter shopping district
The visit comes a day after the Countess of Wessex was left howling with laughter as the couple visited their Scottish earldom, Forfar and enthusiastically tried her hand at golf. Pictured, today
The Queen‘s youngest son excelled in diplomatic dressing as he donned a kilt for his visit to Forfar Golf Club to mark the 150th anniversary of the venue, while wife Sophie looked equally sophisticated in a floral midi dress.
Prince Edward received the title of Earl of Forfar from the Queen for his 55th birthday, with the pair first touring the Scottish town in 2019.
The couple’s visit came after the the Queen was introduced to Scotland’s national drink Irn Bru as she kicked off a four-day Holyrood Week charm offensive today – just one month after Scottish media said sending ‘popular’ Prince William and Kate Middleton north of the border was a ‘shrewd move’.
Making her first official visit north of the border since the death of her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, Her Majesty was given a tour of AG Barr’s factory in Cumbernauld, where the iconic soft drink is manufactured.
The 95-year-old monarch was joined by her grandson the Duke of Cambridge – known as the Earl of Strathearn in Scotland – as she officially opened the factory’s new process facility.
The Queen, who is in Scotland for Royal Week where she will be taking part in engagements celebrating community, innovation and history, also met employees and was given an overview of the history of the company.
Sophie, pictured with Edward, is often been noted as the monarch’s ‘favourite’ family member
The couple was seen putting safety first by adhering to government guidelines and wearing a protective face mask
Sophie looked the picture of elegance in a pink pleated skirt, white top and blazer for the event today
Meanwhile, the Countess of Wessex being in the spotlight is what Prince Philip ‘would have wanted’ and helps to ‘keep his memory alive,’ a royal author has claimed.
Sophie has often been noted as the monarch’s closest confidante and has reportedly been encouraged by the Queen to fill the gap left by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle following Megxit at the start of 2020.
‘Prince Philip adored Sophie, and the Queen feels that now is the moment to push her, just gently. “Give some interviews, do some stuff. You work very hard, no one takes any notice. Get out there!” I can see her saying that.
‘It’s what Prince Philip would have wanted, and now he is gone, doing what he would have wanted keeps his memory alive. I think he would have really liked Edward and Sophie to be a bit more high profile.’
Sunday spectacle! Plans for next year’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant are revealed – with celebrations including a 5,000-strong marching band, giant puppet dragon and a play written just for the Queen by Michael Morpurgo
The English capital is set to play host to marching bands, a giant dragon puppet and circus acts as part of spectacular pageant to celebrate the Queen‘s Platinum Jubilee next year, it was revealed today.
Central London will come to life with colour, street theatre and dance in honour of the monarch’s long reign in what has been described as ‘something of a reopening ceremony for the United Kingdom’.
On February 6 2022, the Queen will have reigned as monarch for 70 years, the first time a British sovereign will have reached such a landmark – with a four-day bank holiday in the pipeline for Britons to mark the occasion in June.
Details of the pageant, to be held on Sunday June 5th next year, were revealed at the official launch in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum on Tuesday.
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Plans for the Platinum Jubilee Pageant were revealed at the V&A Museum in London today with Pageant Master Adrian Evans detailing the highlights of next year’s celebration to be held on Sunday June 5th
The Sunday pageant will comprise three acts, with the first seeing both serving troops and veterans march along The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace (Pictured: The Queen in Scotland this week visiting key workers and volunteers at Holyrood House )
Organisers, including Pageant Master Adrian Evans said the event, with a budget of between £10 and £15 million and involving participants from across the UK and parts of the Commonwealth, is expected to be one of the biggest celebratory events held on home soil for decades.
Throughout the year, the Queen and members of the royal family will travel around the country attending a range of events to mark the milestone, culminating with the Platinum Jubilee Weekend.
Buckingham Palace said 2022’s extended break will run from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5 after the May bank holiday – which would have been on Monday, May 30 – was pushed back.
The four-day weekend will begin on the Thursday with Trooping the Colour, which will be staged in full for the first time since the pandemic, and a service of thanksgiving for the Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral on the Saturday.
Plans for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations have been released for the first time today as the Queen celebrates her 69th year on the British throne. Pictured, crowds outside Buckingham Palace
Sunday’s pageant will comprise of three acts, with the first seeing both serving troops and veterans take part in a march along The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.
The second act, entitled Celebration, will feature a puppet dragon larger than a double-decker bus with a wingspan the width of The Mall.
Others taking part will include a trapeze artist suspended underneath a huge balloon printed with an image of the Queen, as well as acrobats and other performers.
The specially-written fairy story There Once Is A Queen by renowned author Sir Michael Morpurgo will be brought to life through artists on the day.
On the Thursday of next year’s events, Trooping the Colour (pictured) is expected to be staged in full for the first time since the pandemic
The Queen is pictured during another celebration holding bouquets given to her by Britons
The pageant will have a nod to every decade of the Queen’s reign, and feature horses and corgis to reflect her passions.
Nicholas Coleridge, co-chairman of the pageant, said: ‘The Platinum Jubilee weekend is an opportunity for the country to emerge re-energised and renewed, expressing optimism and confidence.
‘It will be something of a reopening ceremony for the United Kingdom, following a period of uncertainty and hardship, a catalysing moment of unity and fun.
The Queen is pictured during a previous celebration taking flowers from eager crowds
‘Through the fusion of ceremonial and pageantry with razzmatazz and festival, we intend to create a spectacle that is at once energising and memorable and a fitting tribute to the Queen.’
Details of the pageant’s third act, the finale, are being kept secret for now.
The pageant will be privately funded, organisers said, through a mix of corporate partners, business and individuals.
The bank holiday celebration will be marked with national events including a live concert featuring some of the world’s biggest stars to a service of thanksgiving – and a day at the races.
Individual members of the royal family have yet to be named in the plans but it is likely the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the monarchy will attend various events.
A live concert will be staged at Buckingham Palace – Platinum Party at the Palace – during the Saturday of the long weekend. Performers have yet to be named but it is billed as bringing together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from the Queen’s seven-decade reign.
Other highlights include a day at the races for the Queen – a keen horse breeder – and her family who will fill the royal box for the Derby, held at Epsom Downs, before the concert.
The Queen’s four-day Platinum Jubilee celebration: Buckingham Palace reveals how Her Majesty’s 70-year reign will be remembered
Thursday June 2, 2022
The Queen’s Birthday Parade (Trooping the Colour): More than 1,400 parading soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians will come together in the traditional Parade to mark The Queen’s official birthday, usually held on the second Saturday in June.
Beginning at Buckingham Palace, the Parade will move down The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, joined by Members of the Royal Family on horseback and in carriages. The Parade will close with the traditional RAF fly-past, watched by The Queen and Members of the Royal Family from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Platinum Jubilee Beacons: The United Kingdom’s long tradition of celebrating Royal Jubilees, Weddings and Coronations with the lighting of beacons will be continued to mark the Platinum Jubilee. Beacons will be lit throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man and UK Overseas Territories.
For the first time, beacons will also be lit in each of the capital cities of the Commonwealth countries to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Friday June 3, 2022
Service of Thanksgiving: A Service of Thanksgiving for The Queen’s reign will be held at St Paul’s Cathedral. Further events will be announced in due course.
Saturday June 4, 2022
The Derby at Epsom Downs: Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Members of the Royal Family, will attend the Derby at Epsom Downs.
Platinum Party at the Palace: The BBC will stage and broadcast a special live concert from Buckingham Palace that will bring together some of the world’s biggest entertainment stars to celebrate the most significant and joyous moments from The Queen’s seven decade reign. Members of the public will be invited to apply to attend this special event and details of the ballot for UK residents to secure audience tickets will be released in due course.
Sunday June 5, 2022
The Big Jubilee Lunch: Every year since the idea began in 2009 The Big Lunch has encouraged communities to celebrate their connections and get to know each other a little bit better, coming together in a spirit of fun and friendship. In 2022 The Big Lunch will bring the Jubilee celebrations into the heart of every community.
People are invited to share friendship, food and fun with neighbours as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. A Big Jubilee Lunch can be big or small – street party or picnic, tea and cake or a garden barbeque. The Big Lunch provides tips and ideas for hosting an event.
The Platinum Jubilee Pageant: A pageant featuring over 5,000 people from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth will take place against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the surrounding streets. It will combine street arts, theatre, music, circus, carnival and costume and celebrate the service of Her Majesty’s reign, as well as honouring the collective service of people and communities across the country.
Diana’s Royal Escort sells for £52,000: 1980 Silver Ford that was engagement gift from Prince Charles sells to overseas museum for £10,000 more than expected
A Ford Escort that was once owned by Diana, Princess of Wales has been sold at auction to a museum in South America for £52,640.
Lady Diana Spencer was given the silver 1.6L Ghia saloon by the Prince of Wales as an engagement present in May 1981, two months before they were married in July 1981.
She often drove it to watch Charles play polo, and the bonnet features a silver frog – a copy of the original mascot which was given to the princess by her sister Sarah and which Diana kept when she sold the car.
The princess stopped using the vehicle soon after giving birth to Prince William in 1982, and it was later bought for £6,000 by an antiques dealer.
It had belonged to royal fan Tina Kirkpatrick since around 2000, who drove it only sparingly without disclosing its history to her friends.
The vehicle was sold on Tuesday in an online auction by Reeman Dansie, of Colchester, Essex, to a telephone bidder for £52,640, including VAT and the buyer’s premium.
The hammer price was £47,000, exceeding the pre-auction estimate of £30,000 to £40,000.
A Ford Escort that was once owned by Diana, Princess of Wales has been sold at auction to a museum in South America for £52,640. Lady Diana Spencer was given the silver 1.6L Ghia saloon by the Prince of Wales as an engagement present in May 1981, two months before they were married in July 1981. 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
Lewis Rabett, of Reeman Dansie Auctions in Colchester, Essex, said the winning bid came from a museum in South America and the car will be shipped there.
‘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.’
The car still carries its original registration, WEV 297W, as well as its original paint and upholstery, and has 83,000 miles on the clock.
The Ford was Princess Diana’s personal transport in the early part of her relationship with the Prince of Wales.
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
She was often seen driving it, and even watched the Prince playing polo whilst sat inside the car.
It comes complete with a silver frog mascot on the bonnet – a copy of a gift from Diana’s sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, to remind her of the fairytale of a girl whose kiss turns a frog into a prince.
James Grinter, the Managing Director of Reeman Dansie, previously said he was ‘amazed’ by the originality of the car.
He said this will be important to collectors who put a high value on owning something that was a personal possession of the late Princess.
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
How much is the Ford Escort worth without a Royal connection?
by Rob Hull, Motoring Deputy Editor
The hammer price of £47,000 paid for the Ford Escort previously owned by Princess Diana is TEN TIMES what the same model would be worth without a Royal connection, according to classic car valuations experts.
Hagerty, which tracks the values of older vehicles, said its guide suggests a Ford Escort Ghia of this age and mileage is currently worth just £4,700.
John Mayhead of Hagerty said the price recently paid was an ‘extraordinary amount’.
‘Although a tiny number of other third generation Ford Escorts have sold before for around that price, they have all been limited-edition, very low-mileage examples of sporting models such as the RS Turbo and RS1600i,’ Mayhead explained.
‘For a standard Escort of the same era, the highest value Hagerty has tracked was for a 1.6i Cabriolet that sold for £23,310 in 2019 at CCA Auctions, but even that was very special as it had just 2,965 miles from new.
‘Diana’s car is not a particularly special model and has a healthy 83,000 miles on the clock. Without its very special ownership, Hagerty would usually value it at around £4,700, ten times less than the value it achieved today.’
In 1995 the car was bought for £6,000 by an antiques dealer as a birthday present for his daughter.
It was then sold to Mrs Kirkpatrick who has taken great care of it, regularly getting it serviced an MoTd.
Mrs Kirkpatrick, who is aged in her 50s, said when the car came up for sale: ‘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.
‘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.’
The sale comes two days before Diana’s sons, the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex, unveil a statue of their mother at Kensington Palace to mark what would have been her 60th birthday.
The brothers last paid tribute to their beloved mother together on July 1, 2017 when they attended a private service of ‘prayer and reflection’ at her grave in the grounds of Althorp House in Northamptonshire.
Mrs Kirkpatrick, who is aged in her 50s, said when the car came up for sale: ‘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’
Soon after taking ownership of the Escort, Diana’s 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
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
Ms Kirkpatrick said she has maintained the car, had it regularly serviced and kept it in her garage. Pictured, the exterior
Ms Kirkpatrick, 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
Ms Kirkpatrick 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 Duke of Cambridge is expected to view the memorial with his family privately in Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden before joining his brother Prince Harry for the official event on Thursday.
It is understood he wanted to give wife Kate and children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis a chance to see it before it was shown to the wider world.
A large box now covers the plinth where it is believed the statue has been put in position ahead of the event that falls on what would have been Princess Diana’s 60th birthday.
Prince Harry is also expected to see the statue separately, the Telegraph reports, but is currently quarantining at Frogmore cottage in Windsor after flying in from his home in California.
The interior of the car boasts wooden trims on the doors and velour seats (pictured). Diana stopped using the car shortly after Prince William was born
Ms Kirkpatrick added: ‘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’
Plans for the unveiling ceremony have been dramatically scaled back due to the pandemic with just a handful of guests – the estranged princes themselves and Spencer relatives – in attendance.
There will also be just one pool reporter and broadcaster able to attend.
Harry and William will make separate speeches as they pay tribute to their mother’s legacy.
They will also thank sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley for creating the statue, which has been in progress since 2017.
Is it still not known whether the Duchess of Cambridge will join her husband for the event.