A sweet letter written by a six-year-old King Charles to his ‘ill Granny’ has been found in a loft – has sold for £7,000 at auction.
The note, urging the Queen Mother to ‘be better soon’ was penned in 1955, and signs off with ‘lots of love’ from the royal.
The incredible discovery, which had been ‘gathering dust’ for decades, was made during a Christmas break clear-out by a couple who live near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire – who had no idea the royal letter existed.
The 1955 letter to the Queen Mother was found alongside a copy of Queen Elizabeth II’s 1956 Christmas speech, Royal menus, an invitation to a Balmoral Castle dance and gift tags signed by Elizabeth and Prince Philip.
A sweet letter written by a six-year-old King Charles to his ‘ill Granny’ has been found in a loft has been sold at auction for £7,000 (pictured)
The collection of letters were expected to fetch between £2,000 and £3,000 when they were sold at Hansons Auctioneers in London.
But a bidding war sent the price soaring until they were finally sold for £7,000.
‘We finally had the time to look through a big box file that my mother had given to us,’ the unnamed seller, a 49-year-old farm manager, said.
Another surprising discovery in the collection, which will go under the hammer at a sale by Hansons Auctioneers, of Etwall, Derbyshire, on March 7, is a booklet titled ‘The Words of Her Majesty The Queen, Christmas Day Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Six’.
The letter from a young King Charles features a selection of colourful doodles and kisses.
The letter on Buckingham Palace notepaper, dated March 15, also shows off the young King’s neat and large handwriting.
The letter had originally belonged to their late grandfather, Roland Stockdale, who is understood to have been ‘involved in helping to protect the Queen Mother.
The seller believes his grandfather ‘probably worked with several royals over time.’
Roland was also highly regarded by William Tallon – or ‘Backstairs Billy’ – the Queen Mother’s devoted servant – because there is correspondence in the collection from him.
It includes a postcard sent to Roland in January, 1983 from Sandringham which begins ‘Dear Sarg, Queen Elizabeth told me this morning that you are not well*’.
A few weeks later on February 7, Tallon offered his condolences to Mrs Stockdale following Roland’s death.
A letter to her on Clarence House headed paper said: ‘I am so dreadfully sorry to hear* of your very sad loss and the family have all my deepest sympathy at this awful moment in time.
‘I always thought most highly of Ron (the best and kindest Sgt we ever had). I only hope that all was peaceful at the end and that he didn’t have to suffer.’
The letter on Buckingham Palace notepaper, dated March 15, also shows off the young King’s neat and large handwriting
The seller has ‘absolutely no idea’ how the letter from King Charles (pictured with the Queen Mother) came into his grandfather’s possession
Roland – who passed away in his seventies – was originally a farm worker from Carlisle. He had moved to London to find work, and got a job with the Metropolitan Police.
This would lead to him being entrusted to work for the Queen’s personal protection force during the 1950s.
The file includes pictures of him in the Information Room in Scotland Yard in 1952.
The seller explained that Roland’s box – which was passed down to his son, and later, daughter-in-law, contained ‘lots of royal memorabilia’.
‘My wife said “wow, look at that!”,’ they added. ‘We were pretty gobsmacked but we weren’t sure whether anyone would be interested in it.
‘My grandad was a man of few words and never really spoke about his time working with the royal family but he was clearly well thought of.’
The seller has ‘absolutely no idea’ how the letter from King Charles came into his grandfather’s possession.
Charles Hanson, pictured, said that the sweet surprise note from the then-Prince was a touching find
‘It’s one of many things he kept,’ they said. ‘The file includes royal menus, an invitation to a dance at Balmoral Castle for his wife Audrey Stockdale, a note signed by the Queen Mother and a George VI Memorial Westminster booklet from October 21, 1955.’
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said the sweet note from the then-Prince was a touching find.
‘The childhood letter from King Charles, written with painstaking care on lined paper, is heart-warming,’ he said. ‘Amid recent royal family rifts it is lovely to see a simple demonstration of affection sent from a boy to his granny.’
The Queen Mother died in 2002.
It is a copy of the Queen’s 1956 Christmas broadcast which she delivered from her study in Sandringham, Norfolk.
‘These rare royal finds are remarkable, even more so when you consider the family had no idea they had them in their care for around 40 years,’ the auctioneers owner added.
‘We all hang on to items throughout our life, such as cards and letters. Roland did the same and, like the vast majority of us, never thought to mention them to his family.
‘He was clearly a devoted royal servant who treasured any snippet of royal memorabilia offered to him. It is clear from the tone of the correspondence that the royal family held Roland in high regard for his kindness.
‘It has long been normal practice for members of the royal family to give away small keepsakes and personal mementos to valued servants.
The Queen Mother died in 2002. In a recent documentary, royal experts claimed that the King was ‘closer to the Queen Mother ‘ as a young boy. Charles pictured between the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret
The letter from Prince Charles has an estimated price of £2,000-£3,000. Pictured,, the King as a baby in 1949
‘Such was the warmth felt for Roland, it appears the Queen Mother allowed him to keep one or two special items.’
The letter from Prince Charles was at an estimated price of £2,000-£3,000 while the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech, privately printed and scarce, is guided at £100-£200.
Other items include three small gift tags signed by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, circa 1960, £300-£500; a note card inscribed and signed by the Queen Mother, £100-£150, and two letters by Backstairs Billy, £50-£80.
In total, the collection was expected to make in the region of £4,000 at auction, but has sold for £7,000.
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