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Queen's letter on how she fell in love sells for 14,000 pounds

PTI 24 Apr 2016, 23:20:35 IST

London: A two-page letter penned by the Queen on how she and Prince Philip first fell in love attracted "furious" bidding and sold for a whopping 14,000 pounds, nearly 18 times the pre-auction estimates.

The letter was written to author Betty Shew by the 21- year-old princess in 1947, months before her marriage. The two-page note describes how the couple met, were chased by a photographer in Prince Philip's sports car and danced at London nightclubs.

It was given a pre-auction estimate of 800 pounds to 1,200 pounds but sold for 14,000 pounds. Describing it as a "fantastic result", Richard Edmonds of the Chippenham Auction Rooms in Wiltshire said: "It was quite an honour to be able to sell such an important document, particularly as the country is celebrating the Queen's 90th birthday.

"The bidding was both online and over eight phone lines. It was pretty fast and furious. At times our internet connection looked like it was lighting up." The identity of the buyer has not been disclosed, the BBC reported.

The then Princess Elizabeth agreed to share the details of her relationship with Philip, for a royal wedding souvenir book being written by Shew. In the letter, written in ink on white paper adorned with the royal crest, the princess recalls how she met Prince Philip at the age of 13, describes his love of fast cars and how the couple danced at nightclubs Ciro's and Quaglino's in London.

She wrote: "The first time I remember [underlined] meeting Philip was at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in July 1939, just before the war. (We may have met before at the coronation or the Duchess of Kent's wedding, but I don't remember).

"I was 13 years of age and he was 18 and a cadet just due to leave. He joined the Navy at the outbreak of war, and I only saw him very occasionally when he was on leave I suppose about twice in three years.

"We had thought about getting married, but we couldn't and didn't do anything about it till after the South African visit partly because of going abroad, and partly because I wasn't 21." The future Queen also writes about her wedding ring, which she says will be made of Welsh gold. She and Prince Philip married in November 1947 at Westminster Abbey, the same location as her coronation in June 1953.