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Fashion Photographer Testino to Auction Princess Diana Image for Charity

Peruvian photographer Mario Testino, who took the last official portraits of Diana, Princess of Wales, is set to auction off one of his images for charity.

Testino will auction his photo depicting a smiling Diana in a black dress in London this fall to raise funds for families affected by the destructive earthquake that rocked his homeland on Aug. 15.

The image set to cross the block comes from the photo session Testino conducted with Diana in February 1997 for a spread in Vanity Fair magazine.

The shoot would eventually prove to be the final portrait session for the princess, who died in a Paris car crash about six months later.

Photos from the session - which depict her relaxed and comfortable - have also been exhibited in London, with some currently on display at the U.K.'s National Portrait Gallery.

Testino has also gained the reputation of being Diana's favourite photographer and has since been enlisted for official portraits of her sons, Princes William and Harry.

"I have decided to auction an image of Diana to help the people in Peru because, for me, Diana went out of her way to help people," he said Wednesday.

"So many buildings, schools and homes have collapsed in Peru since the earthquake a fortnight ago," said Testino, renowned for his fashion photography and celebrity portraits.

"Full recovery for the tens of thousands of families and their children affected will take a long time."

The magnitude-8 quake spread along the Peruvian coast, near the capital of Lima, and was followed by more than a dozen aftershocks of magnitude 5 and greater. The death toll rose to more than 500 with a reported 1,500 injured.

The image to be auctioned was also used recently by Princes William and Harry on invitations to the July 1 charity concert they organized to honour their mother's memory. Phillips de Pury & Co. in London will conduct the auction on Nov. 20, with the proceeds earmarked for the charity Save the Children.

Friday will mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Diana, with a memorial service to be held in London and other unofficial tribute events expected.

With files from the Associated Press