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Princess Diana's private letters are hitting the auction block.
The late princess' notes of correspondence with Buckingham Palace Steward Cyril Dickman are valued at £15,000 and will be auctioned off in Cambridge on Jan. 5, 2017. Other items hitting the auction block include signed Christmas cards from Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Prince Charles, as well as pieces of cake from their weddings and never-before-seen pictures.
Cheffins spokeswoman Lisa Freeman-Bassett told Cambridge News Thursday that Cyril's grandson had recently uncovered the series of letters and decided to put them up for auction. "Cyril, who died in 2012, was head steward at Buckingham Palace for over 50 years, starting his career watching out for fires on the roof during the Blitz," Lisa explained. "He was a favorite of every member of the royal family, as is evident by the variety of cards and letters he received."
Cyril's grandson, Matthew Dickman, added, "He was much loved by the royal family. When he was ill, towards the end of his life, Prince Charles came to see him at his home in London. We have decided to sell some of the items he had purely because there's too much of it to keep."
The letters give a glimpse into Cyril's close relationship with Diana.
In one note, dated Sept. 20, 1984, Diana wrote about Prince William, then 2, and Prince Harry then 5 days old. "Dear Cyril, it was so very kind of you to have sent us such a lovely card, on the arrival of our small son—we both were greatly touched by your thoughtfulness and enormously appreciated it," the princess said. "William adores his little brother and spends the entire time swamping Harry with an endless supply of hugs and kisses, hardly letting the parents near!"
"The reaction to one tiny person's birth has totally overwhelmed us and I can hardly breathe for the mass of flowers that are arriving here!" Diana, then 23, continued. "This is just to say a big thank you, Cyril, for thinking of us at this particularly happy time, with lots of love from, Diana."
In another letter, dated Oct. 17, 1992, Diana gave an update on her sons. "The boys are well and enjoying boarding school a lot," the princess said, "although Harry is constantly in trouble!"
The letters are expected to be the most sought after offerings at the auction.
As Dylan Mander, saleroom manager at Cheffins, explained to The Daily Mail Thursday, "The letters explained all different things: How Harry had been naughty at school and how Harry was adored by his brother who would not stop kissing him." Moreover, he said, "It is incredibly rare to have letters from Princess Diana with such a personal touch to them. She would not have had friends in the sense we do, so you could say Cyril Dickman was one of her closest friends."