“His Royal Highness wishes me to add that quite apart from rumours in the press, it is not very likely that he would be missing the country which in every possible way, tried to humiliate and misrepresent both himself and the Duchess of Windsor.”
An earlier royal family split is recalled with the sale of a collection of letters written on behalf of the Duke of Windsor in the 1930s that were amassed by a keen royal fan.
They will be offered in Catherine Southon’s Sale of Antiques and Collectables on February 8 at Farleigh Court Golf Club, Selsdon, in Surrey.
They were acquired by Lillian Boraston, who lived in Surrey. Discovered in a box of family papers by her granddaughter, they are estimated at £300-500.
The 14 letters that have been posted from all over the world were written by the Private Secretary of the Duke of Windsor (previously Edward VIII) and date from the period June 1937 – six months after his abdication – though to Christmas 1939.
The letter first quoted above, dated September 7, 1937, also includes the comment: “His Royal Highness thanks you for the poem and your kind wishes but asks me at the same time to assure you that the information that His Royal Highness is homesick is entirely without foundation.”
The letters are accompanied by nine scrap albums of newspaper cuttings relating to the duke from 1936-41.
Launched by Di
Meanwhile, an album of around 40 photos of Princess Diana launching HMS Cornwall in 1985 in Glasgow that were discovered in a bookshop in Lewes, East Sussex, is coming up in a London auction.
On offer estimated at £500-800 at maritime specialist Charles Miller’s auction on April 25, the saleroom says the pictures will be mostly if not all unpublished as the album would have been produced privately for Yarrow the shipbuilders and given to the directors as a souvenir of the day.
Diana had the title of Duchess of Cornwall.
The album – titled Launch of HMS Cornwall by Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales at Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited 14th October 1985 – includes 32 colour and six black and white photographs.
The Type-22 frigate was commissioned at Falmouth, Cornwall, in 1988, and decommissioned in April 2011.
King Charles famously is a fan of watercolour painting but it is not so well known that Queen Victoria liked to dabble.
Coming up at Hansons London on January 28 is a pair of large oil paintings depicting vases of flowers said to be by her, estimated at £8000-10,000 each.
Believed to date back to the second half of the 19th century, they were found among family heirlooms at a cottage that has delivered several notable royal lots for the auction house.
Chris Kirkham, associate director of Hansons London, said: “I was asked to value a few items at a cottage in Surrey but had no idea of the magnitude and importance of the antiques tucked away.
“The royal items were purchased decades ago by the seller’s grandfather. He lived on the Isle of Wight and we understand he acquired them at a sale which offered items relating to Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday home on the island. Both paintings bear letters of provenance on the reverse.”
The letters, dated October 1945, state: "With reference to the two pictures said to have been painted by Queen Victoria, which you bought at the Carisbrooke sale. I have since seen Lord Carisbrooke and he says there is no doubt that they were in fact painted by the late Queen Victoria."
Kirkham added: “There could be no better person to vouch for these paintings because Alexander Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Carisbrooke, was the last surviving grandson of Queen Victoria. He was born Prince Alexander Albert of Battenberg in 1886 and died in 1960 at the age of 73.
“The Isle of Wight is home to Carisbrooke Castle Museum. It was founded in 1898 by Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter. The princess died in 1944 and a sale of some items took place around that time.”
The seller, from London, said: “My grandfather collected amazing objects over the course of his life. He was fascinated by antiques and collectables. He originated from the Isle of Wight so it's no surprise he bought items at the Carisbrooke sale."