A nostalgic handwritten letter by the Queen detailing how she and Prince Philip first fell in love has sold for a £14,400 at an auction.
Inscribed with ink on white paper and adorned with the royal crest, the two-page anecdote describes how Her Majesty met her future husband for the first time and danced together at nightclubs in London.
The romantic account, written in 1947, was sent by the then-princess Elizabeth to author Betty Shew, who was working on Royal Wedding, a book that served as a souvenir of the royal marriage.
It recounts intimate memories from their first encounters in 1939, the same year Prince Philip joined the British Royal Navy.
The valuable item was sold at the Chippenham Auction Rooms in Wiltshire to a private collector after attracting a barrage of bids that smashed the pre-auction £1,200 estimate.
Here is the full text of the letter:
“The first time I remember 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.
Then when his uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Mountbatten, were away he spent various weekends away with us at Windsor. Then he went to the Pacific and Far East for two years as everyone there will know.
The wedding ring will be made of Welsh gold, but not from the Craigwen mine.
The engagement ring was made by Antrobus. Princess Alice took it in as Philip obviously couldn’t but he designed the ring.
I don’t know the history of the stone, except that it is a very fine old cutting. It was given to me not long before the engagement was announced.
Philip likes riding but as yet, has not done much racing.
We both love dancing – we have danced at Ciro’s and Quaglino’s as well at parties.
We first started seeing more of each other when Philip went for a two-year job to the R.N Petty Officers School at Corsham – before that we hardly knew each other.
He’d spend weekends with us, and when the school was closed he spent six weeks at Balmoral – it was great luck his getting a short job first them! Elizabeth”