Diana letters to go up for auction

AN AMAZING collection of Royal memorabilia - including personal letters from Diana, Princess of Wales - is to go under the hammer in Colchester next month.

Roddy Ashworth

AN AMAZING collection of Royal memorabilia - including personal letters from Diana, Princess of Wales - is to go under the hammer in Colchester next month.

The extraordinary items were the property of William Tallon, who served in the Royal household for more than 50 years and worked his way up to become The Queen Mother's Steward and the Page of the Backstairs - an ancient title for butler.

Mr Tallon, and his lifelong partner Reginald Wilcock, who was the under-butler, were devoted to the Queen Mother and she was to them.


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This close relationship is reflected by the range of items amassed by Mr Talon over his 51 years in Royal Service, including hundreds of Royal Christmas cards, letters, photograph albums, books, Royal presentation gifts, pictures, sculptures, silver and objects of virtue, china, glassware and furniture totalling seven hundred lots.

The collection is to go on sale on Saturday, July 5, at Colchester auctioneers Reeman Dansie, after Essex law firm Ellison's Solicitors decided the auction should take place locally instead of in London.

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James Grinter, senior partner at Reeman Dansie, said he believed there would be significant interest not just in the pieces of material value but also the letters, cards and Royal Presentation gifts which give an important historic perspective of life as a member of the Royal household.

“William Tallon's collection provides a rare window into the life of a Royal servant and in particular William's long-spanning career devoted to the late Queen Mother,” he said.

Amongst the items going under the hammer are:

n A group of letters from Diana, Princess of Wales to William Tallon regarding her wedding and the birth of her children, with estimates ranging from £400 - £1,000 each

n A silver presentation box by Garrards, which is emblazoned with the Queen Mother's Royal Arms and inscribed 'For William Tallon on the occasion of his 65th birthday 12th November 2000 from Elizabeth R Clarence House.' It is estimated at £600 - £1,000.

n A magnificent 18th Century Indian gold, diamond and enamel box estimated at £10,000-£15,000..

n Eight pictures by Edward Seago including an oil painting of sailing barges entitled 'Half Tide on the Orwell', estimated at £6,000-£8,000.

Mr Grinter added: “Reeman Dansie is proud to be associated with such an exceptional collection and we anticipate a considerable amount of interest.”

Catalogues are available for viewing on-line at www.reemans.com

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