Saturday 27 May 2017

Royal family Christmas gift tags collection sells for £4,500 at auction

Gift tag containing a message from the Queen to Prince Andrew. This formed part of a collection sold at auction
Gift tag containing a message from the Queen to Prince Andrew. This formed part of a collection sold at auction

The royal family's Christmas celebrations, where puns and jokes abound and relatives are known as mummy, papa and Margot, have been laid bare by a memorabilia auction.

A collection of festive royal gift tags, which were sold for almost £4,500, feature touching and humorous messages and show the monarchy are just like any other family at Christmas.

Believed to have been penned in the 1960s and 1970s, the tags are handwritten notes from an uncle to his nephew, a father to his sons and a granny to her grandson and were sold by Brian Reeve Auctions.

A message from Charles to his distant cousin Princess Alexandra and her husband Angus Ogilvy read: "Alexandra + Angus, with all love for a very happy, inebriated Christmas from Charles."

While Philip hinted at and joked about a joint present for his sons the Duke of York and Earl of Wessex: "Andrew + Edward for a bouncing Christmas from Papa."

The Queen's brief note to her son "Andrew with Love from Mummy" brought the highest individual price of just over £480, including buyer's premium.

The Princess Royal wrote a note to her aunt Princess Margaret but used the shortened family name for her: "Margot from Anne."

There is also a gift tag from Lord Mountbatten who signed the card "Uncle Dickie", others from "granny" the Queen Mother and "Lilibet" the Queen.

The card from Mountbatten to the Duke of York also hinted at his present: "For Andrew to talk with Edward - Best wishes for Xmas from Uncle Dickie."

While most people across the country open their presents on Christmas Day, the Royal Family follow the German tradition and open theirs on Christmas Eve at Sandringham.

Presents are placed on a white linen-covered trestle table and the Queen is said to like practical gifts, but not overly extravagant ones.

Brian Reeve, whose firm specialises in selling stamps and autographs, said: "These are unusual for us, we've never had anything like this before.

"Normally royal signatures are Elizabeth R or Philip rather than mummy and Lilibet."

Mr Reeve said he believed they were from the 1960s and 1970s and the originally owner was a member of the royal household who kept the items which were probably destined for the bin.

The individual has died and the royal mementoes were sold by members of his family raising £4,478, including buyer's premium.

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