A rare handwritten letter by Queen Elizabeth II documenting how she fell in love with Prince Philip is set to go under the hammer. The queen and her husband Duke of Edinburgh have been married for the last 68 years. The British monarch wrote the letter when she was a 21-year-old princess, and recounts the early stages of their relationship including when they first met.
The two-page letter was written to the author Betty Shew in 1947, just months before Elizabeth tied the knot with Philip. The book titled the “Royal Wedding” by Shew was a souvenir of the marriage. The now 89-year-old royal had shared details of her relationship.
The monarch recalled how she and Philip first met in 1939 and described how they danced together at nightclubs like Ciro’s and Quaglino’s in London and the latter's passion for fast cars. The letter is written in ink on white paper, adorned with the royal crest. It will go on sale alongside a number of royal artefacts and memorabilia at Chippenham Auction Rooms on April 23.
“This is a wonderfully well-preserved letter written in the Queen’s hand. It gives a fascinating glimpse into the life of the then Princess Elizabeth at what was such a significant time in her life,” Richard Edmonds, principal auctioneer, reportedly said. He added that the price of a letter like this was very difficult to predict but it could be in the range of 800 pounds ($1138.36) to 1,200 pounds ($1707.54).
Besides, other items to go up for sale include a life-size waxwork of Queen Victoria, which was once displayed in Madame Tussauds, plus personal items that belonged to Queen Victoria, such as her handkerchiefs and a nightgown. Collectors will also get the opportunity to purchase a life-size replica of Queen Victoria’s son Prince Edward and a replica of the queen’s Imperial State Crown. This apart, replica of ceremonial swords, scepters and maces will also go on sale.
This auction comes just months after a slice of the queen and Prince Philip’s wedding cake was sold for 500 pounds at an auction — some 68 years after their wedding day. Meanwhile, in another development, Princess Alexandra, the queen’s cousin, revealed how Elizabeth had given her hand-me-down dresses during clothing shortage. Even the British royals were not immune to wartime rationing.
The 79-year-old princess said that Elizabeth and Margaret were “very kind to her.” Alexandra, who is currently the 50th in line to the throne, gave an interview to BBC for “Elizabeth At 90 - A Family Tribute,” a new BBC One documentary, which will air on Elizabeth’s 90th birthday on April 21.