Happy Monday! We’ve decided to start out the week with a look at where Diana lived prior to her marriage to Prince Charles. Lady Diana Spencer lived at 60 Coleherne Court in Earls Court, in between Chelsea and South Kensington in London, from July 1, 1979 until February 23, 1981.
Most reports state that the flat was bought for her by her father but in fact it was purchased by her mother, Frances Ruth Shand Kydd. In fact, Frances bought all three of her daughters their first apartments.
Coleherne Court is a gorgeous mansion block and was built between 1901 and 1904 in red brick and Portland stone. Housing 213 luxury apartments, the building spans three blocks and is set in an acre of landscaped gardens that are for residents only.
Diana’s flat was purchased in 1979 for £50,000. In 1998 Diana’s flat was on the market at £450,000. Today, flats in this building sell for around £1.4million. After Diana’s wedding to Prince Charles, Frances Shand Kydd sold the flat to Japanese buyers for £100,000, an excellent profit margin!
Here are a couple of shots of the interior of the flat as it appeared in 1998:
Prior to her engagement to Prince Charles, Diana was photographed outside of her apartment constantly. Some photographers even rented the flat across the street to get more photos.
Diana’s flat was in Block H, and she had three roommates who paid rent, Carolyn (Pride) Bartholomew, Virginia Pitman, Ann Bolton.
Diana charged her roommates £18 per week for rent. She reportedly posted a sign on her door saying, “Chief Chick.” Nowadays, a three bedroom flat in this building rents for £2,500 per week (or, divided by four roomates, £625 per week).
Diana attended her previous roommates’ weddings and was godmother to their children. Diana seems to have kept in touch the most with Carolyn Bartholomew, who later threatened to go to the press about Diana’s bulimia if she didn’t get treatment.
Here is a picture of Diana, Carolyn and William taken in 1989 at Highgrove, the country home of Charles and Diana.
On February 23, 1981, the night before her engagement to Prince Charles was officially announced, Diana left her flat and moved into Clarence House, the Queen Mother’s residence near Buckingham Palace. She left a note for her roommates that said, ‘For God’s sake ring me up – I’m going to need you.’
Fun Fact before we end – Sophie, Countess of Wessex also lived in the building for a short time before she married Prince Edward. We wonder why this hasn’t been reported on more – it’s quite a funny coincidence, no?