Princess Diana's long-lost records returned to Prince William and Harry
London, July 8 (ANI): Princess Diana's long-lost record collection, from her teen years, was returned to her sons.
This week the Mail on Sunday gave William and Harry, 19 of their mother's lovingly signed albums rescued from public auction.
Here they chart their remarkable journey from car-boot sale to their rightful home - as Diana's old schoolfriend recalls their music-obsessed teenage years.
Of all the members of the Royal Family, Princess Diana was the only one known for her love of pop music, the Daily Mail reported.
She often spoke of Canadian songwriter Bryan Adams as being her favourite singer and Duran Duran as her favourite group.
She was said to have danced in front of her mirror at Kensington Palace listening to their hit 'Girls On Film' on her Sony Walkman.
The image of her at Live Aid in 1985 delightedly accepting a bunch of petrol station-bought flowers from organiser Bob Geldof is one of the most reproduced from the day.
Diana's love of music and dance stemmed from her days at boarding school, when she would buy new releases to play to her school friends - and sign the covers to stop them being ghosted away to a different dormitory.
Yet, her teenage record collection is more eclectic than might be guessed, and all the more intriguing as a result.
A remarkable cache of 19 vinyl LPs owned by Diana during her mid to late teens offer a fascinating insight into a period in which her adult personality was emerging and her future contained countless different possibilities.
Discovered at a car boot sale eight years ago and put up for auction, they are deeply personal treasures, which is why The Mail on Sunday decided to step in by buying them and returning them to their rightful place - with her sons, William and Harry.
And they have been well received. The Princes' spokesman said: "They are very grateful to The Mail on Sunday for retrieving the records and returning them. They were a cherished part of their late mother's possessions, music being a critical part of her enjoyment of life."
One woman who can vouch for that is Lucy Coats, who shared a dormitory with the future princess at West Heath boarding school in Sevenoaks, Kent, and went on to be a guest at Diana's wedding to Prince Charles in 1981.
"Diana was always listening to music. She was always dancing - she was brilliant at it. She had a lot of albums and she used to sign them all 'Diana' so they wouldn't be pinched. We had to label everything at West Heath," Coats said.
"Being teenagers, we had pop music on all the time. We loved the Eagles and Paul Simon and we played Annie's Song by John Denver over and over again.
"Some of the stuff we liked back then makes me feel a bit ill now - Mandy by Barry Manilow, Sailing by Rod Stewart and Terry Jacks's Seasons In The Sun.
"Diana also enjoyed classical music, especially pieces she played on the piano and soundtracks to her beloved ballets. She just loved music and had quite wide- ranging tastes. When I hear the songs from that era I always think of her," she added.
Some of her choices are fairly middle-of-the-road: the reassuringly clean-cut John Denver and the Eagles. But there are surprises, too, not least Bob Dylan's 1976 live album Hard Rain, which - like all Dylan's work - is brimming with deep personal reflection, cinematic imagery and biblical references.
The collection suggests a very different side to the lightweight Diana of popular perception and hints that the teenager whose childhood was blighted by her parents' acrimonious split was receptive to music that tackled the disappointments of love and relationships, as well as the usual teenage romantic dreams.
The musical breadth of the records is a reminder that while Diana was often painted as the polar opposite of Prince Charles - the fun-loving populist to his serious, classical music-appreciating intellectual - in fact, she was a far more thoughtful person than she is often given credit for. (ANI)
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