Unseen Royal pictures found in Suffolk Daphne du Maurier archive
PUBLISHED: 10:56 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 11:23 21 March 2019
Deep South Media
Previously unseen photographs of the Queen and Prince Philip relaxing at a picnic have emerged for sale in East Anglia.
They were included in an archive from the estate of author Daphne du Maurier, who died in 1989.
One shows a youthful Elizabeth sitting on a blanket eating sandwiches next to Prince Philip, wearing a tartan skirt, with the prince dressed in country attire.
Others show the smiling Queen Mother sitting on a picnic blanket with du Maurier.
The writer’s husband, Lieut Gen Sir Frederick ‘Boy’ Browning, was a close colleague of Lord Mountbatten during World War II and was asked to work for the Royal family on his return home.
The photos are not dated but Ely-based auctioneers Rowley’s believe they are post-war and taken at Balmoral.
As the photographs were amongst Du Maurier’s archives it is likely that they were taken by her husband, Boy Browning, who served the Royal household.
The photos were discovered in Suffolk in an archive spanning more than 40 years of correspondence between du Maurier, who is famous for her novels Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, and her friend Maureen Baker-Munton. Baker-Munton became Boy Browning’s PA in the 1940s. After the war he was invited to work for Princess Elizabeth’s household as comptroller and Maureen joined him as his assistant. Maureen and Daphne became friends and corresponded regularly.
Other photographs include the Queen and Prince Philip on board Boy Browning’s yacht and a very young Prince Charles and Princess Anne playing in toy boats.
Baker-Munton’s son Kristen, who was brought up in Bildeston, Suffolk and was Boy Browning’s godson is selling the archive.
The photographs will be sold at Rowley’s auction house on April 27 along with a large collection of other personal memorabilia relating to du Maurier.
Auctioneer and saleroom managing director Roddy Lloyd said: “These particular images, which show the Royal family in an off-guard, relaxed mood highlight the circles in which du Maurier and Boy moved. The photographs record the Queen and Prince Philip in a rarely seen informal setting. I particularly love the photograph of the Queen Mother standing in a tartan skirt with a corgi behind her. Her character shines through – it’s enchanting.”