In 1995, Princess Diana had recently opened up about her marital troubles with husband Prince Charles when she received a letter from a woman named Erika who was battling personal problems. The royal wrote her back — and now that supportive letter has been discovered and is being sold by Julien’s Auctions.

“I do know that it takes great courage to write as you did,” Diana wrote in the note, which is expected to fetch more than $5,000 at auction on Friday, Nov. 16. “With that honesty and clarity, the light will appear in your tunnel.” The Princess empathized with Erika. “There is a great deal of pain inside you,” Diana continued. “I feel a very special lady is struggling with a low self-esteem because of all the bruises you had to deal with, mentally and physically.”

Martin Nolan of Julien’s noted, “It seems as if she is speaking from her own personal experience when she writes this.” In addition to her marriage woes, Diana — who sadly passed away at age 36 in an August 1997 car crash — also suffered from a debilitating eating disorder during her life.

John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images

The mom-of-two’s long battle with bulimia was revealed in detail in royal biographer Andrew Morton’s 1992 book, Diana: Her True Story. According to the author, the Princess first suffered from the disorder at age 20 in 1981 — the same year she tied the knot with Prince Charles — and continued to battle bulimia throughout the 1980s. Diana once admitted that she became obsessed with food and dieting after hearing media comments about her “pudgy” appearance.

By the mid-1990s, Diana publicly revealed she had an eating disorder and once spoke openly about her personal struggles during a speech at a royal event. “I have it, on very good authority, that the quest for perfection our society demands can leave the individual gasping for breath at every turn. This pressure inevitably extends into the way we look. Eating disorders, whether it be anorexia or bulimia, show how an individual can turn the nourishment of the body into a painful attack on themselves. And they have, at their core, a far deeper problem than mere vanity,” Diana once said.

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