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Pre-princess Diana photo with boy goes for $18,000-plus

3:35 PM, Jan 25, 2013   |    comments
(Photo: AP photo/RR Auction)
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(USA TODAY) - Do you remember that sweet black-and-white shot of a teenage, pre-princess Diana that was dug up earlier this month? She's snuggling with a boy on a bed an arm's length away from a whiskey bottle in a tatty, wood-paneled room during a Swiss ski holiday. Acquired by a British newspaper, a staffer scrawled "not to be published" in black across the top. (That was a different era.)

Seems that collectors love their celebrities in candid, possibly naughty poses: On Thursday the picture was sold by a New Hampshire auction house for $18,306 to a real estate investor from San Diego. The early estimates? A mere $1,200.

The back of the photo is stamped February 1981, which adds to the intrigue: It was taken around the time Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer announced their engagement. The boy cuddled against the future Princess Diana? He is reportedly Adam Russell, the great-grandson of former prime minister Stanley Baldwin, who is now a deer farmer in Dorset, England.

Back when the shot was discovered, Diana's biographer Andrew Morton told Britain's The Guardian that Diana and Russell were "injured during the skiing holiday ... They kept each other company while the others went skiing, and, at the end of the holiday, Adam was somewhat smitten. But absolutely nothing happened."

Uh huh.

Olivia Barker, USA TODAY

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