Princess Diana's secret ballet school visits are revealed in photos

Princess Diana’s secret ballet school visits are revealed in never-before-seen photosfrom catching the attention of male dancers and enjoying a glass of wineto rubbing shoulders with a witch

  • Princess Diana never lost her love of ballet despite giving up hopes of becoming a dancer after growing tall
  • Just how much it meant to her is shown in a collection of photographs of her visits to the London City Ballet
  • Pictures offer a fascinating glimpse into her enduring attachment to the company, her support for Harold King
  • As a child she dreamt of being a classical dancer, modelling herself on the great ballerinas of the age.

    But despite her youthful promise, honed by hours of practise on the polished floors of Althorp, the family home, Prinses Diana’s ambition was thwarted by growing too tall – and a teenage skiing accident.

    Sy het, egter, never lose her love of ballet and it remained a passion for the rest of her life.

    Just how much it meant to her is revealed in a unique collection of photographs of Diana’s visits – both public and private – to the Londen City Ballet.

    Princess Diana never lost her childhood love of ballet. Just how much it meant to her is revealed in a unique collection of photographs of Diana’s visits – both public and private – to the London City Ballet

    Princess Diana never lost her childhood love of ballet. Just how much it meant to her is revealed in a unique collection of photographs of Diana’s visits – both public and private – to the London City Ballet

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company's Covent Garden studio

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company’s Covent Garden studio

    Princess Diana's dream of becoming a ballerina thwarted by growing too tall – and a teenage skiing accident - despite hours of practise on the polished floors of Althorp, the family home

    Princess Diana’s dream of becoming a ballerina thwarted by growing too tall – and a teenage skiing accidentdespite hours of practise on the polished floors of Althorp, the family home

    The princess presided over glittering occasions around the world for the modest London City Ballet troupe, the first ballet company she patronised

    The princess presided over glittering occasions around the world for the modest London City Ballet troupe, the first ballet company she patronised

    These photos, which only came to light after South African-born choreographer Harold King's death after 70 laas jaar,  are being sold by Colchester-based auctioneers Reeman Dansie, which specialises in royal memorabilia

    These photos, which only came to light after South African-born choreographer Harold King’s death after 70 laas jaar, are being sold by Colchester-based auctioneers Reeman Dansie, which specialises in royal memorabilia

    Van 1983 until her divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996, when she relinquished most of her charities, the princess presided over glittering occasions around the world for the modest troupe, the first ballet company she patronised.

    It was Harold King, a diminutive South African-born choreographer, who charmed Diana into joining his independent company.

    And it is his photographs of their collaboration, which only came to light after his death aged 70 laas jaar, that are being sold by Colchester-based auctioneers Reeman Dansie, which specialises in royal memorabilia.

    The collection of photos which show Princess Diana at the London City Ballet's Covent Garden studio up for auction at Reeman Dansie Colchester

    The collection of photos which show Princess Diana at the London City Ballet’s Covent Garden studio up for auction at Reeman Dansie Colchester

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company's Covent Garden studio

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company’s Covent Garden studio

    Princess Diana dreamt of being a classical dancer, modelling herself on the great ballerinas of the age as she was growing up

    Princess Diana dreamt of being a classical dancer, modelling herself on the great ballerinas of the age as she was growing up

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet's Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet’s Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    Van 1983 until her divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996, when she relinquished most of her charities, the princess presided over glittering occasions around the world for the modest troupe, the first ballet company she patronised

    Van 1983 until her divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996, when she relinquished most of her charities, the princess presided over glittering occasions around the world for the modest troupe, the first ballet company she patronised

    It was Harold King, a diminutive South African-born choreographer, who charmed Diana into joining his independent company. And these are his photographs of their collaboration

    It was Harold King, a diminutive South African-born choreographer, who charmed Diana into joining his independent company. And these are his photographs of their collaboration

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company's Covent Garden studio

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company’s Covent Garden studio

    Princess Diana at a glitzy event

    Princess Diana observes rehearsals

    Princess Diana presides over glittering occasions (links) around the world for the modest troupe, the first ballet company she patronised. The princess would drop in to the London City Ballet company’s Covent Garden studio (reg)

    The pictures offer a fascinating glimpse into Diana’s enduring attachment to the company and her unfailing support for King, whose breezy, classless personality she adored.

    Thanks to her, the ballet’s galas frequently boasted stars from the world of dance and royalty – including the King and Queen of Norway and Queen Noor of Jordan.

    Inderdaad, it was Diana that conceived a plan to help propel it from a tiny cash-strapped company to one with an international reputation.

    When their version of Carmen was staged in Oslo in 1985, Diana made a point of visiting. On her return to Britain she dropped a bombshell – she was pregnant with Prince Harry.

    As King recalled: ‘She timed the announcement very carefully, knowing that the most recent photographs would be of her with us in Norway. The newspapers scrambled to get them to see if the pregnancy was showing yet.’

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet's Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet’s Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    ‘She squatted down on the floor and talked to all the dancers. She accepted coffee in a paper cup,’ said Harold King, who first invited her with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace. ‘All the other ballet companies were green with envy'

    ‘She squatted down on the floor and talked to all the dancers. She accepted coffee in a paper cup,’ said Harold King, who first invited her with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace. ‘All the other ballet companies were green with envy

    Princess Diana dreamt of being a classical dancer, modelling herself on the great ballerinas of the age as she was growing up

    Princess Diana dreamt of being a classical dancer, modelling herself on the great ballerinas of the age as she was growing up

    Princess Diana attended glittering occasions for the London City Ballet, the first company she patronised after becoming friendly with Harold King

    Princess Diana attended glittering occasions for the London City Ballet, the first company she patronised after becoming friendly with Harold King

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company's Covent Garden studio

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company’s Covent Garden studio

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet's Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet’s Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    Van 1983 until her divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996, when she relinquished most of her charities, the princess presided over glittering occasions around the world for the modest troupe, the first ballet company she patronised

    Van 1983 until her divorce from the Prince of Wales in 1996, when she relinquished most of her charities, the princess presided over glittering occasions around the world for the modest troupe, the first ballet company she patronised

    Just how much dance meant to Princess Diana is revealed in a unique collection of photographs of Diana’s visits – both public and private – to the London City Ballet

    Just how much dance meant to Princess Diana is revealed in a unique collection of photographs of Diana’s visits – both public and private – to the London City Ballet

    Whenever she had a spare moment she would drop in to the ballet’s Covent Garden studio, where she squatted on the floor and spoke to the dancers

    Whenever she had a spare moment she would drop in to the ballet’s Covent Garden studio, where she squatted on the floor and spoke to the dancers

    Whenever she had a spare moment she would drop in to the ballet’s Covent Garden studio.

    ‘She squatted down on the floor and talked to all the dancers. She accepted coffee in a paper cup,’ said King, who first invited her with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace. ‘All the other ballet companies were green with envy.’

    After her wedding, Diana hired dance coach Anne Allen to teach her at Kensington Palace.

    In 1985 she danced at the Royal Opera House to pop hit Uptown Girl. At 5ft 11in, the princess towered over partner Wayne Sleep, 5ft 2in.

    It was Diana that conceived a plan to help propel it from a tiny cash-strapped company to one with an international reputation. When their version of Carmen was staged in Oslo in 1985, Diana made a point of visiting. On her return to Britain she dropped a bombshell – she was pregnant with Prince Harry

    It was Diana that conceived a plan to help propel it from a tiny cash-strapped company to one with an international reputation. When their version of Carmen was staged in Oslo in 1985, Diana made a point of visiting. On her return to Britain she dropped a bombshell – she was pregnant with Prince Harry

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet's Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    Princess Diana was first invited to the London City Ballet’s Covent Garden studio by Harold King with a simple phone call to Buckingham Palace

    Princess Diana dreamt of being a classical dancer, modelling herself on the great ballerinas of the age as she was growing up

    Princess Diana dreamt of being a classical dancer, modelling herself on the great ballerinas of the age as she was growing up

    When Princess Diana visited the London City Ballet's Covent Garden studio she would squat down on the floor and talk to all the dancers

    When Princess Diana visited the London City Ballet’s Covent Garden studio she would squat down on the floor and talk to all the dancers

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company's Covent Garden studio

    Whenever Princess Diana had a spare moment she would drop in to the London City Ballet company’s Covent Garden studio

    Princess Diana watches on as dancers at the London City Ballet's rehearse at the company's Covent Garden studio

    Princess Diana watches on as dancers at the London City Ballet’s rehearse at the company’s Covent Garden studio

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