King’s childhood letter to ‘granny’ found in loft

A letter written by King Charles to his poorly “Granny” when he was six years old has been discovered in a loft in Warwickshire.

The extraordinary find was made by a couple having a clear-out at their home near Stratford-upon-Avon.

It was in a box of royal memorabilia collected by a relative who worked in the Queen’s personal protection force during the 1950s.

The note, written on Buckingham Palace-headed paper, is dated 15 March 1955.

On one side, the then-Prince Charles wrote: ‘Dear Granny, I am sorry that you are ill. I hope you will be better soon’, and on the other, ‘Lots of love from Charles’, with colourful doodles and kisses.

The letter is just one of many items in a vast collection which will be up for auction at Hansons Auctioneers on 7 March.

The seller said it was tucked into a box file of memorabilia collected by his grandfather Roland Stockdale, who died in the 1980s.

His grandson said it had been “gathering dust” in various lofts ever since and they finally looked through it at Christmas.

“I have absolutely no idea how he came to have the letter written by King Charles when he was a boy. It’s one of many things he kept,” he said.

“My wife said ‘wow, look at that!’ We were pretty gobsmacked.”

‘Remarkable finds’

The seller said Mr Stockdale worked with the Metropolitan Police before moving to the protection force, where he is believed to have helped protect the Queen Mother.

“My grandad was a man of few words and never really spoke about his time working with the royal family but he was clearly well thought of,” his grandson added.

The file also includes correspondence from the Queen Mother’s servant William Tallon to Mr Stockdale and later his widow, describing him as “the best and kindest Sgt we ever had”.

It also contains royal menus, an invitation to the Stockdales to a dance at Balmoral Castle, a note signed by the Queen Mother, a George VI Memorial Westminster booklet from 1955 and a written copy of the Queen’s 1956 Christmas Day speech.

Charles Hanson, owner of the auction house, said: “These rare royal finds are remarkable, even more so when you consider the family had no idea they had them in their care for around 40 years.

“The childhood letter from King Charles, written with painstaking care on lined paper, is heart-warming.”

He said it was not uncommon for the royal family to give small keepsakes and mementos to valued servants and it was “clear” they had held Mr Stockdale in high regard.

The letter from King Charles has an estimate £2,000-£3,000 while the Queen’s Speech, privately printed and very scarce, is guided at £100-£200.

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