Follow for more talkers

Couple finds letter King Charles wrote to ‘Granny’ Queen Mother in 1955

“For the last 30 to 40 years’ it’s been gathering dust."

Avatar photo



By Sophie Watson via SWNS

A couple were gobsmacked after they cleared out their attic and found a childhood letter King Charles wrote to his "Granny" the Queen Mother when she was unwell.

Letter to 'granny' from a young King Charles. (Mark Laban/Hansons via SWNS)

The handwritten 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.”

On the back of the letter, a six-year-old Prince Charles wrote: “Lots of love from Charles.” He signed off with colourful doodles and 14 "x" kisses.

The letter was found during a Christmas clear-out by a couple who live near Stratford-upon-Avon, UK, who had no idea the royal letter existed.

The touching note from the future King was in a folder along with other royal letters which had been lying in a cardboard box for more than 40 years.

The couple also stumbled across a rare copy of the Queen’s Christmas speech from 1956 - the year before the annual message was broadcast on TV.

A printed booklet is entitled, “The Words of Her Majesty The Queen, Christmas Day Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-Six” and is a copy of the broadcast the late monarch delivered from her study in Sandringham.

The collection of letters are going under the hammer next month and are set to fetch thousands.

Back of the letter from young King Charles.(Mark Laban/Hansons via SWNS)

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 mom over 10 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.”

Back of the letter from young King Charles to his grandmother. (Mark Laban/Hansons via SWNS)

Roland worked with William Tallon, or ‘Backstairs Billy,' the Queen Mother's devoted servant whose letters were also found in the loft.

It includes a postcard sent to Roland in January, 1983 from Sandringham which begins: “Dear Sarg, Queen Elizabeth told me this morning that you are not well…”

A few weeks later on February 7, 1983 Tallon offered his condolences to Mrs Stockdale following Roland’s death.

A letter to her on Clarence House headed paper reads: “I am so dreadfully sorry to hear of your very sad loss and the family have all my deepest sympathy at this awful moment in time.

“I always thought most highly of Ron (the best and kindest Sgt we ever had).

“I only hope that all was peaceful at the end and that he didn’t have to suffer.”

The seller, who has not been named, added: “My grandad was a man of few words and never really spoke about his time working with the royal family but he was clearly well thought of.

“I have absolutely no idea how he came to have the letter written by King Charles when he was a boy.

“It’s one of many things he kept.

“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.”

The collection of royal letters are expected to fetch around £4,000 when they go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on March 7.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson 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 letter from Charles has an estimate of £3,000 ($3,622 USD) while the Queen’s Christmas Day Speech is expected to fetch £200 ($241).

Other items include three gift tags signed by the Queen and Prince Philip, circa 1960, a note card inscribed and signed by the Queen Mother, and two letters by the butler Backstairs Billy.

Stories and infographics by ‘Talker Research’ are available to download & ready to use. Stories and videos by ‘Talker News’ are managed by SWNS. To license content for editorial or commercial use and to see the full scope of SWNS content, please email [email protected] or submit an inquiry via our contact form.

Top Talkers