Document sold at auction reveals Princess Diana lied about her age to get job when she moved to London

Princess Diana reportedly lied about her age when she filled out one of her first official work documents to ‘get a job quicker, or receive more pay.’ Here’s everything we know about the document and where it is now.

Princess Diana first job application lying about date of birth auction
© David Levenson/Getty_Images
Princess Diana first job application lying about date of birth auction

Princess Diana and her life have always been a point of interest for people in and out of the UK. She may be now identified as one of the most famous royals of the 20th century, but even before she became a royal, her family had a good standing in society. According to Oprah Daily, the Spencers have been a prominent family since the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1975, Diana earned the title of ‘Lady’ when her grandfather died and her father became the earl. Currently, her brother Charles Spencer - who often shares photos of Diana - is the earl.

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Yet, Diana is mostly known for her famous links to the Royal Family, her whirlwind romance with King Charles, the grand wedding - where she had a secret second wedding dress, the dramatic divorce and her untimely death. So much happened with and to Princess Diana after she met then- Prince Charles that most of her individuality from before being a Royal is lost today.

One would remember her infamous affair with James Hewitt, but not what she was doing before she became a part of the Firm. But that’s about to change!

Princess Diana’s first-ever job application

Earlier this year in April, reports of a job application filled by Princess Diana emerged. According to MailOnline, the former Princess of Wales completed the application form for the elite nanny agency Solve Your Problem Ltd in May 1979. Solve Your Problem was an employment agency set up by Mary Cook - a one-time Portuguese Countess. Mary moved back to London after divorcing her husband in the 1970s and started this high-class establishment. The company used to vet staff for royal residences and for the homes of many rich and famous people in London.

Diana filled out their job application form - her handwriting can be recognised - shortly after she moved to London. Her address on the application is noted as Cadogan Place SW1 where she temporarily lived. The then-to-be Princess eventually moved to her own London flat at Colherne Court, Kensington a few months later.

The most surprising aspect of the job application form is Lady Di’s date of birth. Reportedly, she lied about her age in the form to ‘get a job quicker, or receive more pay,’ reports BBC. 17-year-old Diana, at that time, filled the form in black ink and changed her date of birth from July 1, 1961, to July 1, 1960. Diana was still 17, soon to be 18, in May 1979 when she filled out the application. However, to get prospects for a job or even a higher pay, she decided to lie about her age in the forms. What’s more? The agency already knew about the change of date or birth.

Andrew Stowe, an auctioneer, revealed that the agency always knew about it. He further confirmed that Diana deliberately made the error. Andrew said:

Our client had always been told that this was done deliberately, in order that Diana would appear older and therefore more likely to secure a job with the agency, or at least a higher rate of pay.

The document is believed to be Diana's first official work contract which bagged her many short-term jobs as a nanny, mother's help and child carer. However, it is not known the employers for whom Diana worked. Before 1979, Diana had worked for friends and family in an unofficial capacity. Some of these people were also noted as referees on the contract. Highlighting the significance of Diana’s first-ever work form, Andrew claimed it was ‘human, real and normal.’ He explained:

This is an incredibly important piece of history. Getting your first job is a big moment in anyone's life, let alone when that person becomes one of the most famous figures of the twentieth century.
Here we have a teenage Diana Spencer, freshly moved to London, trying to find her way in life and applying for her first job. It's so human, so real, so normal.

The ‘poignant’ item could have just been an ordinary everyday document or a piece of stationary but the fact that Diana went to become the Princess of Wales two years after that had made it an essential piece of paper, reports London World. Andrew added:

This contract is one of the last remaining snapshots of Diana’s life before she was thrust into the spotlight.
It’s filled with hope, it’s filled with nerves, it represents the emotions and feelings of every teenager trying to find their first job – and yet, there is of course, a great feeling of sadness attached.

Elsewhere on the contract, the employers have listed some of Diana’s skills including ‘cook-basic,’ ‘housework,’ ‘animals’ and ‘ballet dancer.’ Other comments include ‘check skirt’ and concluding remarks read ‘lovely girl - send anywhere.’

Princess Diana’s first job application sold for over £8,000

It is understood that the aforementioned job application was put on auction at Auctioneum's Autographs & Memorabilia Online Auction this year. The auction ended on April 30th and the document was expected to go for somewhere between £5,000 to £8,000. After the auction, it was revealed that the document was sold for over £8,000 - £8,470, to be precise.

The item went to an anonymous collector in the US, confirms BBC. Andrew - who works at Auctioneum Ltd in Bristol - confirmed that many people all over the world had an interest in the document and it was sold at an ‘incredible’ price. He said:

This is an incredible result. There was interest from all around the world, with bidders from America, Hong Kong, Canada and Australia all trying to get their hands on Diana’s first work contract.

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Sources Used

Oprah Daily: How Princess Diana's Childhood Set Her Up For a Life as a Royal

Daily Mail: Princess Diana 'deliberately' put wrong birth year down to land first job as nanny to the super-rich - as employment contract is set to fetch up to £5,000 at auction

BBC: Princess Diana's 'first work contract' for sale

London World: Princess Diana 'lied about age' when looking for posh nanny job

BBC: Diana's first work contract sells for over £8,000

Royal author reveals Princess Diana didn't believe Camilla was the reason for her divorce with King Charles Royal author reveals Princess Diana didn't believe Camilla was the reason for her divorce with King Charles