King Charles letter to his ‘Granny’ the Queen Mother: Couple ‘gobsmacked’ at royal mail find during clear out
A collection of royal letters found in a couple’s home during a clear out are set to be auctioned off next month - including one written by King Charles to his ‘granny’ the Queen Mother when he was a child.
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A couple were left ‘gobsmacked’ after clearing out their loft and discovering a childhood letter written by King Charles III to his "Granny," the Queen Mother, when she was ill. The handwritten letter was written on Buckingham Palace notepaper on March 15, 1955, when he was just six years old.
The letter was found during a Christmas clear-out by a couple living near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, who had no idea the royal letter existed. The touching note from the future King was in a folder along with other royal letters which had been lying in a cardboard box for more than 40 years.
It reads: “Dear Granny, I am sorry that you are ill. I hope you will be better soon.” On the back of the letter, Prince Charles wrote: “Lots of love from Charles.” He signed off with colourful doodles and 14 "x" kisses.
The couple also stumbled across a rare copy of the Queen’s Christmas speech from 1956 - the year before the annual message was broadcast on TV. A printed booklet is entitled, “The Words of Her Majesty The Queen, Christmas Day Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Six” and is a copy of the broadcast the late monarch delivered from her study in Sandringham.
The collection of letters are going under the hammer next month and are set to fetch thousands. The seller, a 49-year-old farm manager who has not been named, said the collection originally belonged to his late grandfather, who had worked with the Metropolitan Police.
He said: “We finally had the time to look through a big box file that my mother had given to us. It originally belonged to my late grandad Roland Stockdale. It contained lots of royal memorabilia, including a letter from Prince Charles to his grandmother.
“My wife said ‘wow, look at that!’ We were pretty gobsmacked but we weren’t sure whether anyone would be interested in it. My grandad passed away in his 70s in 1983 and the folder was inherited by my dad, who subsequently passed it to my mum over 10 years ago.
“She never had a chance to look through it and gave it to my wife and I. Finally, at Christmas we had a bit of time to look through my grandad’s folder. For the last 30 to 40 years’ it’s been gathering dust inside various lofts.”
He explained how his grandad, originally a farm worker from Carlisle, moved to London to find work and got a job with the Metropolitan Police. He then went on to work for the Queen’s personal protection force during the 1950s.
He added: “The file includes pictures of him in the Information Room in Scotland Yard in 1952. I was told he was originally involved in helping to protect the Queen Mother but he probably worked with several royals over time.”
Roland worked with William Tallon, or ‘Backstairs Billy’, the Queen Mother’s devoted servant whose letters were also found in the loft. 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…”
The collection of royal letters are expected to fetch around £4,000 when they go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on March 7. Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: “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 letter from Charles has an estimated £2,000-£3,000 while the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech is expected to fetch £100-£200. Other items include three gift tags signed by the Queen 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 worth £50-£80.