Princess Diana’s Virgin Atlantic sweatshirt was sold for $53 532, according to Boston-based RR Auction.
Diana’s go-to workout wear was given to her by business magnate Richard Branson, which Diana later presented to her longtime personal trainer, Jenni Rivett.
Jenni Rivett served as the personal trainer to Princess Diana for over seven years. Rivett plans to donate the proceeds from the sale to help a Malawian family based in South Africa, where she is originally from.
The dark blue medium/large cotton/polyester sweatshirt features a screen-printed image of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Lady logo. Included with the sweatshirt is a small gift tag bearing a note signed by Princess Diana.
The note reads: “Dearest Jenni, Lots of love from, Diana, x.”
In a 2018 interview with the Yahoo! series, The Royal Box, Rivett recounted Diana’s decision to simplify her workout outfits.
“Every single session all the media were outside camped with their stepladders, and cameras and lenses and everything. For her she just found it so incredibly, ‘why are they so interested in me when there are more important things to worry about in the world’,” said Rivett.
“It wasn’t her that asked for all this. I remember one of her strategies was that she was going to wear the same Virgin Active sweatshirt every single session,” Rivett said.
The sweatshirt is accompanied by two letters of provenance from Rivett, with one reading, in part: “This sweatshirt was given to HRH by Sir Richard Branson. It became her most worn top on her regular visits to the gym.
“She felt there were far more important issues to focus on in the world than her gym attire and therefore she decided that wearing the famous Virgin sweatshirt to every session, would be a good way to stop the media frenzy!
“A few months before her untimely death, she called me to say she had left a few sweatshirts for me. Amongst them, this one— which I have now decided to part with.”
“We are thrilled at the price achieved and considering that the proceeds will be donated to help a family in need — we could not be happier for everyone involved,” said Bobby Livingston, executive VP at RR Auction.
The winning bid came from a collector based in California, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:
- Benjamin Franklin handwritten pre-war letter from England to his wife sold for $50 330.
- George Washington handwritten letter referencing a physicist-turned-British spy, sold for $31 251.
- Declaration of Independence 1848 Force Print, sold for $22 691.
For more information visit the RR Auction website at rrauction.com