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A total of 35 cards, each signed Elizabeth R and Philip, were offered at Moore Allen & Innocent’s antique and general sale in Cirencester on August 4. Most were presented as lots of three and each was estimated between £30 – £150. Many took mid- or top-estimate prices. However a collection of three from 1959, 1960 and 1961, the earliest group offered, sold for £280.

The latest cards to be offered were from 2000 and 2001, showing just The Queen and Prince Phillip. These sold for £120 against a high estimate of £40.

The queen started sending official Christmas cards to friends and employees on her accession in 1952. The photographs, which document the Royal Family as it grew, were taken by The Duke of York, Lord Snowdon and official photographers.