Cast of Princess Diana’s left hand expected to fetch up to £40,000


A cast of Princess Diana’s left hand could fetch up to £40,000 at an auction next week.

The rare mould is thought to be the only cast of the royal’s hand that was ever made during her lifetime and with her consent, making it a sought-after piece. 

The plaster was made by sculptor Oscar Nemon during a sitting at his studio in St James’ Palace whilst he worked on a bust of the Princess just before his death in 1985. 

It will be sold with other pieces of royal memorabilia and a similar cast of Winston Churchill’s digits at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester in Essex during a sale taking place from November 8 to November 9. 

A cast of Princess Diana’s left hand from 1985 could fetch up to £40,000 at an auction in Essex next week

The plaster was made by sculptor Oscar Nemon during a sitting at his studio in St James' Palace whilst he worked on a bust of the Princess just before his death in 1985, four years after her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, pictured left

The plaster was made by sculptor Oscar Nemon during a sitting at his studio in St James’ Palace whilst he worked on a bust of the Princess just before his death in 1985, four years after her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles, pictured left

The finely detailed cast measures 24cm long and was formerly owned by Nemon’s assistant, Karin Churchill.

A statement in the auction catalogue says: ‘This is believed to be a unique cast of Princess Diana’s hand made during her lifetime with her permission and obvious co-operation and is therefore of great importance and rarity.

‘The process involves placing the hand in a liquid silicone bath which then sets to create a mould from which the cast is made in plaster of Paris.’

The hand cast is part of a sale on November 8 and 9 which is dedicated to royalty. The sale also contains a cast of Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill’s right hand, which is set to sell for up to £7,000.

The finely detailed cast measures 24cm long and was formerly owned by Nemon's assistant, Karin Churchill

The finely detailed cast measures 24cm long and was formerly owned by Nemon’s assistant, Karin Churchill

The rare mould is thought to be the only cast of the royal's hand that was ever made during her lifetime and with her consent, making it a sought-after piece

The rare mould is thought to be the only cast of the royal’s hand that was ever made during her lifetime and with her consent, making it a sought-after piece

It will be sold with other pieces of royal memorabilia and a similar cast of Winston Churchill's digits at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester in Essex during a sale taking place from November 8 to November 9

It will be sold with other pieces of royal memorabilia and a similar cast of Winston Churchill’s digits at Reeman Dansie auctioneers in Colchester in Essex during a sale taking place from November 8 to November 9

The sale opens a day before the much anticipated fifth series of the Crown is set to be released on Netflix. 

In a preview of series five of the Netflix drama, seen by FEMAIL, the future king played by Dominic West’s son Senan, 15, cuts a miserable figure as he navigates growing up in the public eye.

He is also tuned into his mother’s pain, and is pictured comforting Princess Diana during difficult moments with Prince Charles.

However, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told FEMAIL the new episodes should ensure they reflect the ways in which Princess Diana ensured her boys had the happiest, most normal upbringing possible.

Meanwhile, they also had the support of his loving grandmother the Queen, while Prince Charles taught them sports such as polo.

‘Those watching what The Crown shows should also bear in mind that there were, even in the nineties, happy times for William too,’ Richard said. ‘Whereas many of the events it portrays were indeed grim, it should surely also show how William was loved as a child.’

Prince William is depicted as a pensive and melancholy teenager in The Crown series five (pictured: Senan West playing William) as his parents separate - but according to royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams, the series should also depict the happy points in his childhood

Prince William is depicted as a pensive and melancholy teenager in The Crown series five (pictured: Senan West playing William) as his parents separate – but according to royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams, the series should also depict the happy points in his childhood

In the young prince’s first scene, in which Prince Harry is also present, Charles embarrasses Diana by mocking her desire to go shopping – but both young princes say they are desperate to head to the shops with their mother.

She then tells them: ‘Thanks for sticking up for me! That was brave’ before presenting them with a GameBoy.

Although The Crown fictionalises some aspects of the Royal Family and their lives, fans will no doubt be disappointed to see the depiction of William as an unfulfilled teenager given the close relationship he had with his mother in real life.

He said: ‘William, it has been reported, is portrayed as sad, unfulfilled and melancholy in the fifth series.

The royal author added: ‘It was from Diana that he learnt to care for the less fortunate, especially the homeless and those in hospital and that has benefited them both in later life.

‘William later said what an eye-opener seeing a different side to life was and, when he turned 40, reportedly became a Big Issue seller in memory of what his mother taught him.

‘She was more casual than Charles, a trip to the cinema, skiing or, most famously, to an amusement park, was more her style. She wanted her sons to have as normal as upbringing as they possibly could under very trying circumstances.’

Diana was known for her affectionate approach towards motherhood as her sons were growing up and was often pictured in public embracing Prince Harry and Prince William.

Princess Diana was known for being a fun mother who enjoyed taking her sons out for the day and playing with them. Pictured: Diana with William and Harry on the log flume at Thorpe Park in 1993

Princess Diana was known for being a fun mother who enjoyed taking her sons out for the day and playing with them. Pictured: Diana with William and Harry on the log flume at Thorpe Park in 1993

Princess Diana was known for getting involved in the parents' race at the boys' school sports days (pictured winning the mothers' race in 1989)

Princess Diana was known for getting involved in the parents’ race at the boys’ school sports days (pictured winning the mothers’ race in 1989)

One of the earliest examples of her dedication to motherhood above all other duties was when she broke royal protocol to bring her eldest son, who was nine months old at the time, on a tour around Australia. In setting a new precedent for royal engagements, she made it clear her children were her top priority.

‘Taking William, aged nine months, on a trip to Australia was controversial at the time but much later William and Kate took George at that age too so this was a game changer,’ Richard said.

As the children were growing up, Diana showed the world she was a ‘fun mother’ who got involved in silly activities with her sons and their friends.

In one of her most famous outings with the boys, Princess Diana was pictured allowing herself to get absolutely soaked on the log flume at Thorpe Park in 1993.

The late Princess of Wales is pictured beaming from inside the cart while Princes Harry and Prince William howl with laughter. In 2017, a Radio 5 Live show celebrating Princess Diana’s life examined the photo in more detail and revealed what it was the young princes had found so funny.

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