Branding the Famous: Princess Diana

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Today is the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. I must admit – I watched the wedding, the funeral and remember where I was when I heard she had died. My parents were in London that week and they said that it was crazy with the mobs of people, the flowers and all the disruptions.

She was the most photographed person in history; as a matter of fact, I heard on NRP tonight that fashion mags in London would see a 25% increase in sales when Diana was on the cover. I’m sure that was true in the US as well.

So, it’s not surprising to see her legacy live on in branded home furnishings as well. In the case of The Althorp Living History Collection, we have Diana’s brother, Charles, Earl Spencer who has licensed a line of furnishings based on the family ancestral home. Made by Theodore Alexander, the furniture is really beautiful. This is a pretty subtle Diana branding – for instance, there are no photos of the princess used in the marketing or on the main website.

Althorp Living History Collection by Theordore Alexander

Althorp Living History Princess Diana

Gothic Library Display Cabinet Althorp Collection theodore alexander Princess Diana
Gothic Library Display Cabinet
Dreaming Spires Bed Althorp Collection theordore alexander Princess Diana
Dreaming Spires Bed

The Afternoon Visit sofa Althorp Collection Theodore Alexander princess diana
The Afternoon Visit sofa
The Garden Room chair Althorp Collection Theordore Alexander Princess Diana
The Garden Room chair


On the other hand, we have Paul Burrell, who was Princess Diana’s butler. Mr. Burrell has launched the Royal Butler Collection of furniture and carpets. Mr. Burrell liberally uses Diana’s image, and his own, on his website. The collection is filled with pretty standard fare. Not bad looking, but not particularly special.  (ETA 2018 – this collection is no longer available) 

Highland House Furniture also released a collection by Paul Burrell (he got around). They had two releases, the last in 2011, but are now no longer available. (updated 2018).

Paul Burrell for Highland House furniture collection Princess Diana
Paul Burrell for Highland House


Royal Manor: English Country Home Collection at Highland House

And finally, there were a few random tribute pieces available, none of which are still being sold and photos aren’t available except this one:

Princess Diana Nightstand Abel Rios Novica
Princess Diana Nightstand by Abel Rios (no longer available)


What do we think? Good… not good, inspirational, time to move on?

And, as a little 2018 update, it’s been noted that there was a touch of Diana in one of the recent royal wedding photos. It’s hard to see, but the groom and some of their attendants are sitting on the same green sofa that was used for the official portraits of Harry’s christening.

Harry Meghan Royal Wedding photo Princess Diana green sofa

prince-harry-green-sofa-princess diana-t

Sweet. Oh, and good furniture lasts, is all I’m saying.

Would you want a piece of “Princess Diana” in your home?

xoxo Linda

7 thoughts on “Branding the Famous: Princess Diana”

  1. If Diana appears on the front cover of any magazine it’ll see a bump in circulation. That trick doesn’t just work in London (there are of course many other town cities and villages in the United Kingdon).

  2. I think Diana’s death offers lots of lessons to be learned about service and overcoming depression issues, let alone the dangers of driving while intoxicated and without a seat belt.

    I agree that it doesn’t hononr someone’s death by profiting in their name.

  3. I have to admit I never understood the Di obsession. Granted I might be a little young for it, but I just can’t get into any of that royal family business.

    Having said that, the first line had some striking pieces (love the leather wingback), and I would take nearly all of those rugs.

    The butler thing seems a little tacky. Not the furniture, just the concept.

  4. I also remember where I was when she died – was watching SNL and they interrupted it for the accident. We proceeded to stay up until almos 2:00 in the morning watching. My husband is a major Anglophile.

    I think it’s really tacky to make a living off of Diana. 10 years later that people are Still able to do it just amazes me. Then again, look at Elvis. Still, I never buy things – and try to teach my son not to buy things – for commercial reasons.

    So there I was, scrolling down thru all the photos on your page when I saw the rugs, before I read the last sentence and realized they were part of the same post. They are really killer, especially the red one. So the fact that they are using her face to sell them REALLY irks me now. They lost a sale on that one….

  5. BTW – speaking of Brit decor – I have been looking for botanical print lampshades and can’t seem to find a decent source. Any ideas?

    (I got desperate, painted a few of my own, I need better blanks…lol…)

  6. Wonders never cease. I can’t say that I like the Butler’s furniture, or the Althorp collection. It all looks a wee bit overblown. Poor Di. I was a fan, always checking her style trends. I can’t believe it’s been ten years.


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