Diana's brother says blue plaque at Earl's Court will mark 'very happy place' for late princess

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·3-min read

Watch: Princess Diana honoured with blue plaque outside former flat

Princess Diana's brother has said the blue plaque planned to mark where she lived before she married Prince Charles will commemorate a "very happy place" for her.

Diana, who died in 1997, lived at 60 Coleherne Court in Earl's Court, west London, before she married Prince Charles, in a flat which was bought for her by her mother, Frances Shand Kydd.

The princess described the years she lived there as "the happiest time of her life”, according to Andrew Morton’s book Diana, In Her Own Words.

She was reported to have a sign reading "Chief Chick" above her bedroom door, and charged her flatmates £18 a week as a landlady.

On Thursday English Heritage said they would be honouring Diana with a blue plaque at the London flat, making her the highest profile former member of the Royal Family to be given the honour.

Read more: Did Princess Diana really once live in a flat in Earl's Court?

Lady Diana Spencer, surrounded by the media, leaving her Earl's Court flat in her bright new mini metro en route to her job as a teacher at a kindergarten in nearby Pimlico.   (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Then-Lady Diana Spencer leaving her Earl's Court flat in a mini metro en route to her job as a teacher at a kindergarten in nearby Pimlico. (PA Images via Getty Images)
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Confirming the news, Earl Spencer said in his tweet: “How very lovely that this blue plaque will be going up outside Coleherne Court – thank you, @EnglishHeritage for commemorating such a very happy place for Diana in this way.”

The flat cost £50,000 when it was bought for her as an 18th birthday present.

Diana left the flat in February 1981, the night before her engagement to Prince Charles was announced.

Kydd sold the flat after Diana married Charles for a reported £100,000. Flats in the block sell for £1.4m these days.

Diana was nominated for a plaque by the London Assembly after it asked for suggestions of women to receive the honour.

Read more: Prince Harry's biographer says it's 'appalling' that he 'didn't speak out' over wedding story

A view of Coleherne Court, Earls Court, London, where Diana, Princess of Wales once lived in a flat within the mansion block. English Heritage is honouring Diana with a
Coleherne Court, Earls Court, London, where Diana, Princess of Wales once lived. It will be marked with a blue plaque. (PA Images via Getty Images)
Nineteen year-old Lady Diana Spencer (1961 - 1997, later Diana, Princess of Wales), fiancee to the Prince of Wales, leaving her flat at Coleherne Court in Earl's Court, London 12th November 1980. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Lady Diana Spencer, then 19, leaving her flat at Coleherne Court in Earl's Court, London in November 1980. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

English Heritage’s curatorial director Anna Eavis said the princess's campaign work on issues like HIV/AIDS and landmines as well as her enduring appeal as "an inspiration and cultural icon to many" were deciding factors in choosing her to receive the honour.

Eavis said: “Her profile and popularity remains undiminished nearly 25 years after she died and clearly a part of that was the ease with which she seemed to communicate with everybody.

“I think what appealed to the panel when they were considering her nomination was she’s undeniably a significant figure in late 20th century Britain, with a close London association obviously.

“She did undeniably play an important role in de-stigmatising HIV/Aids and also towards the very end of her life campaigned in those anti-landmine campaigns which was also very important.”

As well as Diana, five other women will be honoured with blue plaques. They are crystallographer and peace campaigner Dame Kathleen Lonsdale, fashion designer Jean Muir, anti-slavery campaigner and former slave Ellen Craft, barrister Helena Normanton and social reformer Caroline Norton.

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