[Ballet] Diana, Princess of Wales. (1961 - 1997)
Princess Diana, a one-time ballerina, commends the English National Ballet on its 40th anniversary
TLS, one page, 7.5 x 9.25, Kensington Palace letterhead, March 1990. Diana commends the English National Ballet on the occasion of its 40th anniversary in correspondence later printed in the official program. In full: “In 1950 a great theatrical endeavour was begun under the expert leadership of Anton Dolin and Alicia Markova. First as London Festival Ballet and now as English National Ballet, it has become an international force in the world of classical ballet and this evening pays tribute to this achievement. The Company has grown in stature over the last forty years and has achieved a very high standard which is appreciated by audiences not only in the United Kingdom, but worldwide. Tonight gives us an opportunity to salute the Company’s achievements and triumphs and to wish all the dancers and staff of English National Ballet a very successful and prosperous future.” In fine condition. Accompanied by a copy of the English National Ballet 40th Anniversary Gala program in which this congratulatory message was printed.
Diana was an avid fan of the arts, particularly the English National Ballet, which she generously supported and served as its patron from 1989 until her 1997 death. Diana—who had studied ballet in her youth but was too tall to become a professional dancer—later used her royal status and charity work to enhance the company’s ensemble, and had expressed her personal joy to have simply stood on the same stage as Markova in 1990. Her appreciation of the talents of the English National Ballet, coupled with her own thrill of meeting one of her idols, is displayed through this message.