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.