Queen Victoria's size 26 bloomers sold at auction

Emma Woollacott
Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction
Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction

Queen Victoria's plus-size knickers have sold at auction for £6,200, along with a pair of her silk stockings.

The voluminous bloomers have a 52-inch waist, and belonged to the monarch in the 1890s - "towards the end of her life when she had eaten a lot more than most people could afford to," comments auctioneer Michael Hogben. In today's sizing, they'd be a size 26.

Made of silk, the knee-length bloomers carry a monogram on one leg along with a laundry marking. They were sold at auction on Sunday to an anonymous overseas buyer by the Westernhanger auction house in Kent.

"When Queen Victoria died she gifted a lot of her under-linen to her loyal servants," Hogben told Kent Online. "These bloomers have been in a Kent family for more than 80 years."

Hogben said the owners had brought the items along to a charity valuation day held in support of Guide Dogs. "When they said they had a pair of Queen Victoria's bloomers we didn't believe it at first," he added.

The bloomers had had a guide price of just £1,000 to £2,000, showing the continuing popularity of royal memorabilia. Meanwhile, a pair of her silk stockings sold for £1,100, more than double the estimate. Also going under the hammer at the sale was one of Victoria's petticoats, with a lace border, buttons - and a 66-inch bust.

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The new owners will be in good company: in 2008, a complete set of Victoria's underwear was classified as a 'national treasure' and added to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, held at Kensington Palace.

Almost anything with a royal connection can carry a high price. In April, the last official letter written by Diana, Princess of Wales sold for nearly £3,000 at auction. At the same time, a slice of cake baked for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding sold for £420.

And this December, another slice of cake from that wedding will go up for sale in Beverly Hills, with a guide price of $1,000 to $2,000. At the same auction, those with deeper pockets can snap up one of the full collection of evening gowns worn by Princess Diana over a 16-year period, designed by her favourite designer, Catherine Walker.

Read more about auctions on AOL Money:
Diana letter sold at auction
Royal cake to be auctioned
Diana dress may sell for £80,000