The affectionate thoughts of the Queen as a mother have been revealed in a rare letter she wrote to her midwife Helen Rowe.
The letter, handwritten in Eastbourne, Sussex and dated 5 August 1964, provides a late update on the well-being of the Queen’s fourth and youngest child, Edward Antony Richard Louis, later to be known as Prince Edward.
Sent five months after Her Majesty had given birth, the letter reads:
“I am terribly sorry we never got in touch with you before you left London.
“Mabel [the nanny] was ill in bed when you wrote, and I confess I misread your letter in a great hurry and remembered the wrong day you put down, and when I was away at Arundel last week, I suddenly was reminded of your letter and of course it was too late by then!
“The baby is wonderful—good as gold, trying to sit up and weighing 15 lbs 12!
“He smiles and giggles at everyone, and makes everyone happy! Charles, I’m thankful to say, is better but very frail as yet. I hope we see you when we return in October.
“Yours sincerely Elizabeth R.’’
The letter will now go under the hammer at RR Auction, along with its original mailing envelope, at a starting price of $300 (around £227).
Sister Rowe was Britain’s most famous midwife. She started her career at King’s College Hospital and later transferred to the Middlesex Hospital for Midwifery. Her first royal birth was that of Prince Michael of Kent in 1942.
In spite of her association with the royal family and the fact that she attend all of the Queen’s four children, Sister Rowe always kept a low profile. She would withdraw from the side doors of Buckingham Palace after every royal birth, although she would constantly receive private letters from Buckingham Palace that offered insight into the private life of the Queen.