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Forgotten snapshots of the Royal Family discovered in charity shop

The Royal family at Balmoral in 1951. Picture: Claudia Yunnie

The Royal family at Balmoral in 1951. Picture: Claudia Yunnie


  • by STEPHEN McGINTY
 

THEY are poignant portraits of the past. Photographs of one of the final times the Queen spent with her father, King George VI, are to be ­auctioned after turning up in a charity shop.

The striking images document the Royal Family’s final summer at Balmoral before the death of the King. They show him with the Queen Mother, the soon-to-be Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret playing with a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne at their Highland retreat.

Anne was little over a year old and the collection includes charming photos of the Queen and her late sister standing the baby princess up on the stone parapet of a water fountain.

Another shows a three-year-old Prince Charles sat astride a statue of a deer as his grandmother reaches out a supporting hand to stop him falling off.

Two more photos show the group of royals posing for the camera, while Charles dangles a hand in the fountain, and the Queen Mother stands between her two daughters.

It is thought the informal pictures were taken by a member of the royal household using a Box Brownie camera while the Royal Family visited Balmoral in August 1951.

A month later the King underwent surgery to remove his left lung after the discovery of a tumour. He died four and a half months later on 
6 February, 1952.

It was not known what had happened to the pictures before a woman took them into a charity shop in Somerton in Somerset, after clearing out a relative’s ­estate eight years ago.

Claudia Yunnie, a customer in the shop at the time, overheard the conversation and offered to buy the ten photos.

She went on to keep them in a chest of drawers and has only now decided to sell them at auction.

Mrs Yunnie, 69, from Langport, Somerset, said: “I happened to be in the shop when this woman brought them in and was in earshot of the conversation she had with the staff. I bought them because I liked them so much. But since I have had them they have been locked in my chest of drawers in my bedroom”

The pictures are up for ­auction in Sherborne, Dorset on 27 July and have a pre-sale estimate of £250.

 

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