Both the identity of the male friend and the photographer are unknown. It is however known that the black and white 8 x 10 image was sold to the Daily Mirror on 26 February 1981, just before Diana's engagement to the Prince Wales was announced by the palace.
|Ref: AWNS-19210303-35-3, Sir George Grey Special Collections|
The picture remained in the newspaper's archives until it was bought out by the private Caren Archive. The company is auctioning the image through RR Auctions and it is expected to reach in excess of £750 given the history of the image. The auction will take place online between 17 and 24 January 2013 and you can view the listing now.