One of Princess Diana's iconic workout tops that she used to wear while heading to the gym in London has sold for an eyewatering $53,532, which is roughly £43,000. The navy jumper went under the hammer at Boston-based RR Auction on 10 July. It was donated by Diana's personal trainer Jenni Rivett, who worked with the royal for over seven years and plans to donate the proceeds from the sale to help a Malawian family based in South Africa, where she is originally from.
The dark blue medium/large cotton/polyester sweatshirt features a screen-printed image of the Virgin Atlantic 'Flying Lady' logo. Diana was given the top by business magnate Richard Branson. She passed it on to Jenni shortly before her death, alongside a note that read: "Dearest Jenni, Lots of love from, Diana, x."
Diana's top has sold for roughly £43,000
Jenni has previously spoken about her royal client's decision to always wear the same Virgin top. Speaking on The Royal Box, she said: "Every single session all the media were outside camped with their stepladders, and cameras and lenses and everything. For her she just found it so incredible, 'why are they so interested in me when there are more important things to worry about in the world.' It wasn't her that asked for all this. I remember one of her strategies was that she was going to wear the same Virgin Active sweatshirt every single session."
Jenni presented two notes with the sweatshirt at the auction. One revealed that the top had never been washed after Diana gave it to her, and that she decided to auction the item as "it currently sits in a cupboard, when really it deserves a place of honour". "I plan to use the funds from the sale of this to help a Malawian family – which I know Diana would be happy about!" Jenni wrote.
The lot also included a handwritten note from Diana to her personal trainer
In another letter, she added: "This sweatshirt was given to HRH by Sir Richard Branson. It became her most worn top on her regular visits to the gym. She felt there were far more important issues to focus on in the world than her gym attire and therefore decided that wearing the famous Virgin sweatshirt to every session, would be a good way to stop the media frenzy! A few months before her untimely death, she called me to say she had left a few sweatshirts for me. Amongst them, this one—which I have now decided to part with."
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