News | March 6, 2023

King Charles ‘Get Well Soon’ to Queen Mother to Auction

Mark Laban/Hansons

A letter written by King Charles III to his poorly ‘granny’ in 1955 when he was only six years old has been discovered in a loft, together with a copy of the Queen’s 1956 Christmas speech. It will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on March 7 with other unique royal items.

The letter on Buckingham Palace notepaper, dated March 15, 1955, reads: "Dear Granny, I am sorry that you are ill. I hope you will be better soon." The flipside 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-upon-Avon, Warwickshire who 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 turned out it had belonged to my late grandad Roland Stockdale.

“It contained lots of royal memorabilia, including a letter from Prince Charles to his grandmother. The royal memorabilia was a surprise but there is a simple explanation. My grandad got a job with the Metropolitan Police. He went on to work for the Queen’s personal protection force during the 1950s. 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 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 be offered by 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 live from her study in Sandringham, Norfolk.

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Actioneers, 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. Roland 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. It is lovely to see a simple demonstration of affection sent from a boy to his granny.”

The get well letter from Prince Charles has an estimate £2,000-£3,000 ($2,400-3,600) while the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech, privately printed and very scarce, is guided  at £100-£200 ($120-$240).