Hold on, dear! Intimate photos of Royal family in the 1950s show a young Prince Charles sitting on a deer when he was a toddler
13:08 GMT, 9 July 2012
Recently re-discovered poignant portraits of the Royal family in the 1950s are to be sold at auction.
The intimate pictures include a snap of a gleeful young Prince Charles sitting on a deer while his doting parents and grandparents proudly look on.
King George VI can be seen gazing intently at his smiling young grandson, with Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Princess Margaret also watching closely. Touchingly, the Queen Mother has her hand supporting Prince Charles, believed to be aged three, to prevent him from slipping off the ornamental deer.
From left, King George VI, Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother look on as a young Prince Charles sits on an ornamental deer in this family portrait of the Royals in the 1950s
The collection of ten pictures also features Princess Anne as a toddler beaming between her doting mother and aunt. In another snap, the Queen supports the young princess as she takes some tentative steps along a wall as a smiling Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother watch.
Another family portrait shows the Royals standing behind Princess Anne in her pram, as her cheeky brother Prince Charles dangles his hand in a nearby fountain.
Experts believe the set was taken between 1951 and 1952 – just before King George VI's death on February 6.
Going under the hammer: The collection of pictures, including this one of the family posing behind Princess Anne in her pram, are to be sold at auction
Little is known about the history of the photographs, as they were purchased from a couple during a house clearance around eight years ago. They then sat forgotten in the back of a drawer in a Somerset home until this year – when the owner decided to seek them out during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The owner took them to Charterhouse Auctioneers in Sherborne, Dorset, where they are expected to fetch up to 250. Auctioneer and valuer Richard Bromwell, a partner at the firm, said the 6.5 x 9cm photographs gave an extraordinary insight into the Royal Family in the 1950s.
Poignant: The picture featuring King George VI watching his granddaughter Princess Anne walking along a wall with her mother's support, left, was taken not long before his death, while another snap shows the young princess with her doting mother and aunt
He said: 'They are a fabulous series of black and white photographs which provide a snap shot into a day with the Royals. Some are in a relaxed family pose and some are more formal.
'I particularly like the image of Prince Charles sitting on a deer mounted on a fountain with his grandmother having an outstretched arm just in case he falls. In a way, they are very poignant. Although we do not know exactly when they were taken, looking at Prince Charles and Princess Anne, I would estimate them to be taken around 1951, and possibly even just before King George VI passed away on 6th February 1952.'
The photographs will be sold during a two day auction at Charterhouse Auctioneers on July 26 and 27.