Childhood letter written by King Charles to his sick granny found in loft near Stratford - The Leamington Observer

Childhood letter written by King Charles to his sick granny found in loft near Stratford

A CHILDHOOD letter from King Charles to his poorly granny has been found in a loft near Stratford.

The letter written by a six-year-old Charles on Buckingham Palace notepaper, and dated March 15, 1955, reads,’Dear Granny, I am sorry that you are ill. I hope you will be better soon’. The flip-side of the page reads,’Lots of love from Charles’. Underneath the large, neat handwriting is a childlike mixture of colourful doodle art and kisses.

The extraordinary find was made during a Christmas break clear-out by a couple who live near Stratford – and they were gob-smacked. They had no idea the royal letter existed.

The seller, a 49-year-old farm manager, 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 ten years ago. She never had 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.

“The royal memorabilia was a surprise but there is a simple explanation. My grandad, originally a farm worker from Carlisle, moved to London to find work and got a job with the Metropolitan Police. He went on to work for the Queen’s personal protection force during the 1950s. 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.”

The file also 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.

Another surprising discovery in the collection, which will also be going under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on March 7, is a booklet entitled ‘The Words of Her Majesty The Queen, Christmas Day Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Six’. It is a copy of the Queen’s 1956 Christmas broadcast which she delivered from her study in Sandringham, Norfolk.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, 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.

“We all hang on to items throughout our life, such as cards and letters. Roland did the same and, like the vast majority of us, never thought to mention them to his family.

“He was clearly a devoted royal servant who treasured any snippet of royal memorabilia offered to him. It is clear from the tone of the correspondence that the royal family held Roland in high regard for his kindness.

“It has long been normal practice for members of the royal family to gave away small keepsakes and personal mementos to valued servants. Such was the warmth felt for Roland, it appears the Queen Mother allowed him to keep one or two special items.

“The childhood letter from King Charles, written with painstaking care on lined paper, is heart-warming. Amid recent royal family rifts it is lovely to see a simple demonstration of affection sent from a boy to his granny.”

The letter from Prince Charles has an estimate £2,000 to £3,000 while the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech, privately printed and scarce, is guided at £100 to £200.

The collection will be offered in Hansons Auctioneers’ March 7 Library Auction. To find out more email [email protected]

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