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20 Oct 2004 13:16
A limited-edition magnum of champagne believed to be one of 12 selected to mark the 1981 marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana is expected to fetch thousands of pounds at auction, a saleroom official said on Wednesday.
“My current valuation is at least £1 000 [about R11 000], but whether we will list it at £2 000 to £3 000 [R22 700 to R34 000] will be decided nearer the time,” said Chris Albury, a valuer at the Dominic Winter auction house in Swindon, southern England.
“Who knows what it might fetch on the day?”
The magnum will be auctioned at Swindon on December 15.
The Cuvee Dom Perignon 1961 vintage—chosen for the year of Diana’s birth—was selected by makers Moët & Chandon for the royal wedding on July 29 1981.
The couple were divorced in 1996 and Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year.
The British Press Association said six of the magnums were delivered to the royal household and six were presented as gifts to beverage trade charities.
One of those was given to the Society of Licensed Victuallers, a charity that looks after retired pub landlords.
When Roy Mayes retired as chairperson of the society’s branch at Luton, north of England, in 1987, he sold the prized Cuvee to his successor, Brian Minnighan, for £100.
Minnighan (67) recently found it in his attic.
“It’s in its original box that has only been opened once since I bought it,” he said.
Moët & Chandon was unable to verify the exact number of bottles and magnums for the wedding but a spokesperson said the 1961 vintage “is incredibly rare.
The 1961 is not available any more.”—Sapa-AP
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