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'Not to publish' photo of Princess Diana sells for just over US$18,000

WASHINGTON--A previously unseen press photo of a teenaged Princess Diana that a London tabloid deemed too hot to publish has sold for US$18,306, the American auctioneers handling the sale said Friday.

The black-and-white image from the dawn of the 1980s shows Diana, possibly in a ski chalet, smiling at the camera as she lies comfortably in the lap of a similarly aged but unidentified young man reading a book.

By the window stands a bottle of Johnnie Walker whisky, but more intriguing are the words “not to be published” scrawled across the photo with the kind of grease pencil used by newspaper picture editors at the time.

On the back, the photo is dated Feb. 26, 1981 — two days after Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Prince Charles and the commoner then known as Diana Spencer.

RR Auctions of Amherst, New Hampshire, which handled the sale, said the photo came from the private Caren Archive, which acquired it seven years ago when it bought out the photo library of Britain's Daily Mirror newspaper.

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