A 1981 Ford Escort once owned by Diana, Princess of Wales has sold for £52,640 at auction.

Diana was given the silver saloon as an engagement present by the Prince of Wales in May 1981, just two months before they married in July.

The car had an original estimate of between £30,000 and £40,000, but bidding at Reeman Dansie’s Royalty, Antique and Fine Art Sale in Essex continued to push well past that initial pricing.

The hammer finally fell at £47,000, but the total stood at £52,640 after VAT and buyer’s premiums were applied.

With 83,000 miles on the clock, the Escort retains its original registration plate as well as its original interior and exterior paintwork.

The car was used by Diana until August 1982.

It comes complete with a frog mascot on the bonnet, which is a copy of a gift given to Diana by her sister, Lady Sarah Spencer, to remind her of the fairytale in which a girl kisses a frog in order to turn it into a prince.

The previous owner of the car had said that she was a ‘great admirer’ of Princess Diana and had cherished the car so much that she’d kept its Royal origins a secret.