Want to own piece of royal history? Queen and Philip’s rare Christmas cards up for auction

Prince William and Kate Middleton reunite with Queen at Windsor

A rare collection of festive royal cards sent to a former worker at Sandringham who “clearly knew the family well” are to be sold on Saturday at Rowley’s auction house in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The cards are all signed and present various pictures, ranging from candid snaps of the Prince of Wales with his teenage children to more formal pictures of the Queen and Prince Philip.

Each card is expected to fetch up to £200 – and royal fans keen to get one will have several pieces to choose from.

The former worker gave the auction house cards sent between 1998 to 2018.

All the proceeds will be given to Norfolk Hospice in King’s Lynn, located just three miles from the Queen’s Sandringham Estate.

Speaking about the upcoming auction, Roddy Lloyd, managing director of the saleroom, said: “They have been consigned by a former worker at Sandringham who clearly knew the family well.

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“There is a full run of Christmas cards from the Queen and Prince Philip from 1998 until the present.

“And there are also several cards from Prince Charles which show lovely pictures of him and his two sons.

“We anticipate a lot of interest in these and they are in excellent condition – as if they have just been pulled from the envelope.”

One of the cards, dated 2004, shows Prince Philip and the Queen meeting D-Day veterans.

Another, dated 2017 and issued by the Queen’s office, was taken at a more informal setting and shows the monarch feeding a banana to an elephant.

One card signed by Prince Charles presents a heartwarming photograph portraying the prince and his two children leaning through a frame. 

In the snap, Prince Harry hugs her father while Prince William pops out of the frame from above.

Another picture included in a Christmas card sent by Clarence House shows Prince Harry, Prince Charles and Prince William sitting on the porch outside the prince’s home in Birkhall, Scotland, with the now-Duke of Cambridge petting the family’s dog.

Years later, the Prince of Wales and Camilla , Duchess of Cornwall, would take a portrait on that same spot to mark their 15th wedding anniversary.

The royal tradition to send Christmas cards to employees, friends and soldiers on the frontlines dates back to Queen Victoria.

Throughout the decades, royals have started to send also thank you notes to royal fans who write them to mark special occasions such as wedding anniversaries or birthdays.

For Christmas alone, the Queen and Prince Philip send approximately 750 cards every year, and are said to start signing them in late August to keep up with the workload.

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William usually release a family-themed card to mark the festive season.

Last year, the Cambridges’ Christmas card showed the family-of-five on a motorbike and sidecar.

Prince Charles and Camilla marked the 2019 festive season by releasing a Christmas card with a picture taken during their most recent tour to the Caribbean.

In the snap, Prince Charles is driving a vintage car in Cuba and the Duchess is sitting next to him smiling.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry issued their first-ever family card on Christmas last year.

Breaking with tradition, they did not send out a physical version of their photograph but, rather, released an e-card.

In the black-and-white picture, the married couple can be seen smiling under a Christmas tree while their son Archie Harrison crawls towards the camera.

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