Taunton twins tell of mum's loyalty to 'great friend' Princess Diana
A silver apple commissioned by Princess Diana to mark her first solo visit to New York in 1989 after separating from Prince Charles is to fetch more than £3,000 at auction.
Diana gave silver apples to lady-in-waiting Anne Beckwith-Smith, protection officer Inspector Allan Peters, baggage-master Sergeant Ron Lewis and her devoted dresser Fay Appleby.
Fay, who travelled the world with Diana for six years, was secretly supported by the Princess as she fought a 15-year battle against cancer. She died in 2002 aged just 47, leaving behind 11-year-old twin boys Chris and Ben.
The pair, now 22, are selling the huge collection of memorabilia their mother left them – to help them get a foot on the property ladder.
Yesterday Chris, of Taunton, Somerset, said: “We were only 11 when our mother passed away but she told us how she loved working for the princess. She was very loyal to Princess Diana and she said she became a great friend – her best friend, in a way.”
The silver apple, which is engraved with the Princess’s crowned ‘D’ monogram and the date ‘1st-3rd February 1989‘, is to be sold at auctioneers Reeman Dansie’s sale of Royal memorabilia in Colchester next Tuesday.
There are also two presentation photographs of Prince Charles and Princess Diana relaxing aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia with their staff – including Fay – signed by the couple which are expected to fetch £300 to £500 each.
Fay was with Di on the 1985 visit to Washington when she famously danced with John Travolta.
Auctioneer James Grinter said: “This is a fascinating collection which shows how two women from very different backgrounds came to build up such a strong friendship. It is very touching to see how much care and support Princess Diana showed towards Fay and her two sons.”
Chris joked: “My mother told me Princess Diana once changed my nappy at a barbecue at Highgrove, but I’m afraid I was too young to remember it.”