Letter detailing Queen's first meetings with Philip sold for £14k


A rare handwritten letter detailing how the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh first fell in love has sold for £14,400.

The monarch wrote the letter when she was a 21-year-old princess and recounts the early stages of their relationship including when they first met.

The two-page letter was written to the author Betty Shew in 1947 - just months before the Queen and Philip were married.

It was bought by a private collector from the UK at a sale at Chippenham Auction Rooms Rooms in Wiltshire.

Auctioneer Richard Edmonds said: "This is a fantastic result. 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 looking like it was lighting up."

Mrs Shew was writing a book called Royal Wedding as a souvenir of the marriage, and the then Princess Elizabeth agreed to share details of her relationship with the Prince of Greece and Denmark.

Over two pages, Princess Elizabeth recalls how she first met Philip in 1939, describes his love of fast cars and how the couple danced at nightclubs Ciro's and Quaglino's in London.

The letter is written in ink on white paper adorned with the royal crest.

The Queen wrote: "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"