The pictorial side of a letter from the then six-year-old boy we now know as King Charles III that sold for £7000 at Hansons.

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A royal highlight of a March 7 sale held by Hansons (25% buyer’s premium) was a letter sent in March 1955 by a then very young and future King Charles III to his grandma, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

“Dear Granny, I am sorry that you are ill. I hope you will be better soon”, he writes on one side of his message on Buckingham Palace headed notepaper. On the reverse, beneath the note “Lots of love from Charles”, he adds a colourful collection of doodles and kisses.

Reported to be one of a small group of lots in the sale that had come to light during a pre-Christmas clear out by a farm manager and his wife, the material emerged from a box file that had that had originally belonged to the consignor’s late grandfather, Roland Stockdale.

In the early 1950s he had seen service as part of the then new queen’s personal protection force, but his mementoes seem to have remained in the family’s care, albeit unexamined, for a great many decades thereafter.

That letter was sold for £7000 in the auction held in the Bishton Hall saleroom in Rugeley, Staffordshire, while a lot offering three pictorial gift tags signed c.1960 by Queen Elizabeth or Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and in one case by both of them, was bid to £1250.

Dahl uncut


The curiously constructed but inscribed and smartly bound presentation copy of Roald Dahl’s The Gremlins that realised £5000 at Hansons.

If you are concerned about the recent furore surrounding Roald Dahl rewrites, try an original… among the enormous number of books offered by Hansons, many of them in large job lots, was a presentation copy of The Gremlins. Inscribed “To John, who wrote the bloody thing anyway. Roald Dahl, 25/5/43”, it was billed as possibly an earlier state or proof, but with the leaves of the text block stapled together and contained as a loose block between quarter-cloth and pictorial boards.

Bearing a number of pencil corrections and amendments in Dahl’s hand, it is a copy that was given to Wing Commander John Alexander, DFC, who had formed a friendship with Dahl during their RAF years. It is one that Hansons had first offered in a May 2020 sale, when it made £6500.

This time the estimate was a more modest £3500-4000, but it sold at £5000.