A bargain hunter stumbled onto a piece of royal history in an antique store in Cardiff, Wales, when he found a photo of the Privy Council session that resulted in The Queen giving permission for Prince Charles to marry Lady Diana Spencer.
For a £20 purchase, the bargain hunter may have found the purchase of a lifetime. The photo shows Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles seated in the middle of two rows of Privy Councillors on 27 March 1981 after their meeting.
Diana did not attend the meeting, but she was photographed alongside her future husband and mother-in-law afterwards. The couple married on 29 July 1981, and although they lived under a fairy tale spectre, the marriage was troubled from the start. The Prince and Princess of Wales separated in 1992 and were divorced in 1996. The next year, Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris. They had two sons, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Chris Albury, an auctioneer and senior valuer at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Gloucestershire said that it was the first item he’d ever seen signed by more than one royal.
“I did a double take when I saw it. I thought I better not get too excited until I check it out properly,” he said.
The signatures were validated for authenticity.
“Whether it’s a one-off, I don’t know yet. The next part of my research is to find out exactly why they both signed it.”
“What I like about it is that, when it comes to royal autograph collecting, the key is to collect the monarchs. It is the gold standard,” Albury said.
With the signatures of The Queen and future King Charles, the photograph is unique in that someday it might be signed by two monarchs.
The royal photograph will go up for auction on 5 April in Gloucestershire. Auctioneers anticipate that it will fetch upwards of £1,000.