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Charles and Diana rare royal wedding photos up for auction

A rare collection of behind-the-scenes photographs from the royal wedding of Charles and Diana is due to go on sale at auction, 34 years after the images were captured.

The 12 candid photos from the wedding reception, held at Buckingham Palace on July 29 1981, following the ceremony at St Paul's Cathedral.

The photographs - seven black-and-white and five colour prints - originate from the collection of an assistant to English photographer Patrick Lichfield, later Lord Lichfield.

Six of the larger photos depict Princess Diana wearing her wedding dress with members of her family and wedding party, including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Princess Margaret and Prince Andrew.

Some of the images show the Princess holding the five-year-old Clementine Hambro, her youngest bridesmaid, while another shows the ill-fated royal couple on the Buckingham Palace balcony overlooking the crowds gathered on the Mall below.

The set, due to go under the hammer in America next month is accompanied by a detailed letter of provenance identifying the subjects in each photograph and offering further specifics from the assistant to Lord Lichfield, the only photographer allowed to take informal images of the royal family and their guests when they returned to Buckingham Palace.

The Remarkable Rarities live auction event from RR Auction will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, on September 24, 2015.

Auction spokesman Bobby Livingston said: "These never-before-seen photographs capture the candid and unrehearsed moments of the fairytale wedding."