Great to see Princess Diana’s Virgin Atlantic sweater going under the hammer for $53,500, raising money for charity.
I have a bit of a confession to make - I made a bid on the jumper myself to gift to our team and hang in Virgin Atlantic’s office (but I wasn’t the winning bidder).
The jumper was sold for charity by Princess Diana’s personal trainer Jenni Rivett who said the proceeds will help a Malawian girl go to school.
Seeing the story in the media this past week has brought back so many fond memories of time spent with Diana.
My family and I grew close to Diana and her children when they were quite young, when the press followed their every move (and movement). We welcomed the family to Necker on several occasions to offer some much deserved privacy and relaxation.
Diana was always fond of Virgin Atlantic and I distinctly remember one flight when she entered the flight deck (back in the days when this was allowed) and announced over the loudspeaker that if the passengers looked to their right they could see Granny’s House (or rather, Windsor Castle).
Another time, when we won our court case against British Airways, I received a simple, one-lined letter from Diana, which simply said ‘hurrah.’
As such, it seemed only right to gift her the Virgin Atlantic sweatshirt as a token of our appreciation. I didn’t realise at the time that she would go on to wear the sweatshirt every time she went to the gym – making a point about how ridiculous it was to photograph her working out every day.
Like the rest of the world, I was utterly heart-broken when I heard about her tragic death. After brightening the lives of so many people around the world, I wanted to do something to celebrate and continue her legacy.
We got the likes of Paul McCartney, Sting, Eric Clapton and Elton John to contribute songs to a tribute album, released by V2 Records. I rang Elton John and suggested re-writing Candle in the Wind, and said I'll try to get the Archbishop to accept it into the funeral service, which he did. Candle in the Wind 1997 sold 33 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling single since UK and US singles charts began in the 1950s.
Diana touched the hearts of so many people and it makes me so happy to see her legacy continue to this day.
Well done to the lucky winner of the auction. I hope the sweatshirt brings you as much joy as her friendship did for me.