Childhood letter from King Charles to Queen Mother found in loft after 40 years
A letter sent by a six-year-old King Charles to his grandmother has been discovered in a loft in Warwickshire.
The letter, sent to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on March 15, 1955 reads: “Dear Granny, I am sorry that you are ill. I hope you will be better soon. Lots of love from Charles.”
Underneath the handwriting is a mixture of doodle art and kisses, on Buckingham Palace headed paper.
The letter was found by a 49-year-old farm manager during a Christmas clear-out of his loft in Stratford-upon-Avon, along with several other pieces of royal memorabilia which had gone unnoticed for years.
The items will now be sold by Derbyshire-based Hansons Auctioneers on March 7, and combined are expected to make around £4,000.
The seller 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.”
Mr Stockdale, a farm worker from Carlisle, moved to London and got a job with the Metropolitan Police, eventually going on to work for the Queen’s personal protection force during the 1950s.
It is believed he worked under several royals over his career. He died in his 70s in 1983.
A folder of royal memorabilia and letters was inherited by his son, who gave it to his wife over 10 years ago.
It was then given to the current owner and his wife, who looked at it for the first time over Christmas last year.
As well as the letter from the then-Prince of Wales, there is also correspondence between Mr Stockdale and William Tallon – also known as ‘Backstairs Billy’ – the Queen Mother’s servant.
They include a postcard sent in 1983 from Sandringham, the royal family’s Norfolk country home, and a letter to Mr Stockdale’s wife offering condolences following his death, written on Clarence House headed paper.
There is also a booklet entitled The Words Of Her Majesty The Queen, Christmas Day Nineteen Hundred And Fifty-Six, which is a copy of the Queen’s 1956 Christmas broadcast which she delivered from her Sandringham study.
The seller said: “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.
“I have absolutely no idea how he came to have the letter written by King Charles when he was a boy.
“It’s one of many things he kept. 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, the owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said the finds were “remarkable” and that the childhood letter from King Charles was “heartwarming”.
The letter from King Charles has an estimate of £2,000 – £3,000 and the Queen’s Christmas Day speech has a guide price of between £100 and £200.