An English Heritage blue plaque has been unveiled today on the side of Coleherne Court on the Old Brompton Road, where Diana lived at the time of her engagement to the Prince of Wales 40 years ago, in 1981.
Diana moved into 60 Coleherne Court in Earl’s Court with three friends in July 1979, working in childcare as well as accepting contract cleaning assignments. Family connections brought her into the royal circle and a year later Diana was propelled into the media spotlight when she began her relationship with Prince Charles.
She remained in the flatshare at Coleherne Court until the night before her engagement to the Prince of Wales was announced on 24th February 1981, whereupon she stayed briefly at Clarence House before moving to a suite in Buckingham Palace.
According to Andrew Morton’s biography, Diana would later describe her 18 months at the flat as the happiest time of her life: “It was nice being in a flat with the girls. I loved that – it was great. I laughed my head off there. I kept myself to myself. I wasn’t interested in having a full diary. I loved being on my own, as I do now – a great treat.”
The flat was bought by Diana’s parents — for £50,000 — and given to her as a coming-of-age present for her 18th birthday in July 1979. The flat was last sold in 2012, for just under £2 million.