AN OLD bicycle once owned by Princess Diana has sold for a staggering £44,000 at a Sussex auction – and the price may have been boosted by Netflix show The Crown.

The 1970s Raleigh Traveller was bought for more than double its estimate at Burstow and Hewett antique auction house in Battle.

The Princess of Wales is believed to have ridden the bicycle each day to her workplace, a Pimlico nursery, before marrying Prince Charles in 1981.

However, it was reportedly dubbed “not suitable for a royal” by palace officials and Diana was forced to get rid of it.

The Argus: A letter of authenticity confirming the bike's storied past A letter of authenticity confirming the bike's storied past

The item was described on the Burstow and Hewett website as the “shame bike” and “a famous symbol of Diana’s oppression”.

As it went under the hammer, auctioneer Mark Ellin said it was “probably the most famous bike in the world”.

Lady Diana often left the bike chained to the railings outside her London flat and even revealed in an interview that she once had a wheel stolen.

The bike previously sold for £9,200 in 2018 and this time around it was expected to reach between £15,000 and £20,000 - although it more than doubled this price.

The three-gear, 26-inch wheel bike, was purchased by an online buyer, despite fierce opposition from a phone bidder.

Details of the buyer have not been disclosed.

The historic piece came with a letter of authenticity from Gerald Stonehill, who acquired the bike directly from the Princess of Wales.

According to the description, the tyres are perished and there are pen marks on the saddle, as well as other general wear and tear.

The recent popularity of the Netflix series The Crown may be a driving factor behind the increase sale price.