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Norfolk woman sells Princess Diana letters

PUBLISHED: 10:00 16 February 2010 | UPDATED: 08:10 02 July 2010

Letters sent from Princess Diana to Janet Filderman, who was her beautician in the 1980s and became a friend.

Letters sent from Princess Diana to Janet Filderman, who was her beautician in the 1980s and became a friend.

Anthony Carroll

For a decade she helped turn Princess Diana into a media darling for the whole world to adore.

And now a series of letters from the Princess to her beautician have given a rare insight into the personal world of Diana.

Anthony Carroll

For a decade she helped turn Princess Diana into a media darling for the whole world to adore.

And now a series of letters from the Princess to her beautician have given a rare insight into the personal world of Diana.

From opening her Christmas presents early to coping with constant press attention, the private letters to Janet Filderman, who lives in Norfolk, also show how the tragic Princess, valued their close friendship.

On Saturday the collection of more than 30 letters from Princess Diana to Mrs Filderman from the mid to late 80s were auctioned in London.

Mrs Filderman, of Hopton, near Great Yarmouth, started corresponding with the Princess after they struck up a friendship when she became Diana's beautician in London in 1981.

The letters reveal that Princess Diana had an almost childlike obsession with receiving and opening presents - at one point even unwrapping a china pot two weeks early.

In a letter dated December 14 1985 the Princess said: “As promised I rushed home to open your Christmas present, which I thought was quite good going considering the 25th is actually two weeks away!!'

“I could not resist opening my present, as a parcel of any shape or form has never been safe with me & I fear that William has also picked up this dreadful habit from his mother, as I find wrapping paper undone in the most extraordinary places!”

A letter to Mrs Filderman in December 22 1988 says: “I do love my beautiful photograph frame & how sweet of you to have thought of me - the shirt is extremely smart with the Filderman emblem on it!

“The peanuts have been attacked & the boys couldn't believe their luck to have a jar each of their favourites!

“Thank you for everything - you care, which means an enormous amount to me & I value your advice so much.”

In a touching letter sent from Kensington Palace on August 14 1987 Princess Diana tells her confidante how she found the constant media coverage a strain.

It reads: “I wish that I could cope with the media & peoples thirst for knowledge of us, but after six years I find everything that much more of a struggle & just cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel - I know there are a million people worse off than me & that I should do all that I can for them, but at the end of the day I have to live with myself & emotionally at the moment I am upside down & confused (so boring for those around me) & putting on this act is desperate, but if it keeps people off my back then surely it must be worth it.”

Mrs Filderman put the letters up for auction because she has no children to leave them to and wanted someone who was interested in the Princess' life to have them.

She last saw Princess Diana in 1990 - seven years before the Princess died in a car crash in Paris.

She said: “At times she was extremely lonely and wanted company that she trusted and liked. She was a loving caring mother who was devoted to her two children.

“She had a mischievous sense of humour and loved mimicking people she had met.”

The 30 letters were auctioned on Saturday in Heathrow London by International Autograph Auctions based in Nottingham.

It was estimated the collection could go for £20,000 with the prize lot of the August 14 1987 letter priced from £1,200 to £1,500.

Melanie Beaven from International Autograph Auctions said that the company was still working out how much the letters had fetched last night.

She said: “Interest has been massive. It is unusual to get a collection of letters like this - normally you just one letter or the odd Christmas card put up for auction.”

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