Rare Royal Christmas cards going under the hammer for thousands

A Royal Christmas card coming up for sale at auction

A signed Christmas card, possibly dating from 2003, with an image of Prince Charles with William and Harry as teenagers - Credit: Rowley's Antique and Fine Art Auctioneers

A private collection of Christmas cards from the Royal Family spanning more than a quarter of a century is set to raise thousands for a hospice charity.

The 25 cards, originally sent to a worker on the Sandringham Estate, in Norfolk, are all personally signed and feature a variety of family portraits dating back to an estimated 1994.

They were donated at the end of last year and look set to raise up to £150 each when they are sold at auction online on December 12.

A Christmas card sent by the Queen and Prince Philip.

An image from a signed Christmas card from the Queen and Prince Philip dated 1998. - Credit: Rowley's Antiques and Fine Art Auctioneers

The collection includes cards personally signed by Prince Charles and depict Princes William and Harry as young teenagers with their father, including one of the three of them crouched in a poppy field.

The majority are from the Queen and Prince Philip with accompanying photographs which show the royals in a variety of poses with their corgis, and as part of a larger family group, waving from the royal coach or, as in one dated April 2017, shaking "hands" with an elephant.

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All proceeds from the sale, being staged by Rowley’s auction house in Ely, are set to go to The Norfolk Hospice, a registered charity, in Hillington a few miles from Sandringham.

A Christmas card from the Queen and Prince Philip

A signed Christmas card from the Queen and Prince Philip features this image of the couple on Royal duties dated June 2016. - Credit: Rowleys Antiques and Fine Art Auctioneers

Roddy Lloyd, managing director at Rowley’s Auctioneers, said: “There is always an enormous amount of interest in items relating to The Royal Family and there are many collectors of Royal Christmas cards.

"This selection of cards, which dates from 1998 up to the present should do well and we hope their sale will give the hospice an early Christmas present.”

Lyndsay Carter, chief executive at The Norfolk Hospice, said: “The Norfolk Hospice were absolutely delighted to receive this generous donation of royal Christmas cards late last year, illustrating fascinating snapshots of Royal history.

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"This auction is a fantastic opportunity for us to raise vital funds during these difficult times, as many of our traditional fundraising activities have been impacted this year and our charity shops had to temporarily close once again in November.”

Viewing starts from Tuesday,  December 8 at 9am with the auction taking place online from 10am on Saturday December 12.

To find out more about the auction visit Rowley's website here and type Christmas cards into the search bar.

This year, for the first time in more than 30 years, the Queen will not be spending Christmas in Norfolk, due to restrictions around the coronavirus pandemic.

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