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Kensington Palace debuts never-before-seen stunning portrait of Princess Diana

The never-before-seen shot was taken in 1988 when the princess was 27.

Kensington Palace is displaying a never-before-seen portrait of the late Princess Diana.

The portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales — which was taken by photographer David Bailey in 1988 — captured a black and white side profile of the princess. In the image, she posed in a satin one-shouldered gown, accessorizing the simple look with a teardrop earring as she stared off into the distance with a stoic expression.

This new portrait of Diana debuted at Kensington Palace this month as part of the new exhibition called “Life Through a Royal Lens,” which will run through the end of October. The exhibition will also display photographs from famed photographers including Rankin, Annie Leibovitz and Norman Parkinson, as well as images taken by members of the royal family. 

E! reports that a news release from Historic Royal Palaces said that Diana’s decision to work with Bailey “reflected her desire to establish a new photographic identify for herself,” which contrasted prior royal portraits.

Life Through a Royal Lens exhibition
Historic Royal Palaces conservators Ola Ruiz-Aguillo and Nelson Garcia handling a portrait of Diana, Princess of Wales, taken by photographer David Bailey in 1988, which was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery.Yui Mok - PA Images / PA Images via Getty Images

Initially, the image was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, but remained in Bailey’s archive until the new exhibition.

Diana's legacy as "the people's princess" has endured in the decades since her tragic death in August 1997.

In pop culture, her memory has been dramatized in projects such as Netflix’s “The Crown” and the drama “Spencer” starring Kristen Stewart, a role which earned her her first Oscar nomination. She was also recently memorialized on what would have been her 60th birthday with a permanent statue at Kensington Palace, which was unveiled last summer by her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

In January, a rare portrait of the princess sold for more than $200,000. The portrait was created during multiple sittings with the late Nelson Shanks in 1994, just two years after she and Charles separated. In the oil on canvas portrait, Diana’s eyes are downcast as she looks to the left, appearing introspective.

According to a note from the auction house Sotheby’s, the portrait was an early version of her expression that would appear in Shank’s full-length portrait.

“The final portrait reflects the emotional toll of Diana’s public life in the mid-1990s, but also her inner resilience,” Sotheby’s notes said.