Private letters Prince Charles sent to royal maid could fetch £10,000 at auction
An extraordinary trove of private letters sent by Prince Charles to one of the Royal Family’s most trusted servants have emerged for sale.
In the notes Charles refers to his wife as “my Darling Camilla” and says the Queen Mother’s death in 2002 left an “enormous chasm” in his life.
He also jokingly warned loyal maid Marjorie Dawson “don’t forget to go to the loo” in an invite to his 1981 wedding to Princess Diana.
Marjorie was the personal maid to Princess Alexandra of Kent, the Queen’s cousin, for 36 years and a trusted friend of the Royals.
She formed a close relationship with Charles after starting work for the family in 1954, when he was just six-years-old.
During her time with the Royal Family she stayed at Balmoral and Buckingham Palace and went to dozens of weddings.
Marjorie’s astonishing collection of letters and cards was unearthed by her family after her death last year, aged 104.
She claimed the secret of her long life was a daily dram of whisky and a love of fish and chips.
The letters are expected to fetch over £10,000 when they are sold by Derbyshire auctioneers Hansons next week.
Most are from Charles, now 71, who over four decades revealed intimate thoughts on several of his life’s most significant events.
He said of the death of the Queen Mother: “I have dreaded her eventual departure and now she leaves behind an enormous chasm in my life.
“However, she also leaves behind the most wonderful legacy of unbelievably happy memories of fun, laughter and an atmosphere of constant affection and interest in everything.
“Such vital and extraordinary spirits are rare and I feel profoundly blessed that the Good Lord allowed me to have such a heavenly grandmother who taught me so many of the most valuable things in life.
“Oh, how we shall all miss her and everything she stood for.”
In an invitation to his 1981 wedding, he joked: “Don’t forget to go to the loo before the wedding – it could be a very long wait in the cathedral!”
Following the birth of Prince William in 1982, Charles wrote: “We are rapidly discovering what it is to be proud parents!”
And after his 2005 wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles, he wrote: “You can have no idea how lucky I am to have my Darling Camilla.”
In later letters he complained that media intrusion had turned both he and Camilla into “mere pawns”.
Marjorie grew up in a terraced house in Bolton and was orphaned aged 12, eventually working for Princess Alexandra when she was 39.
She served from 1954 until her retirement in 1990, earning a Royal Victorian Medal for service to royalty.
During her time in the royal household, she travelled the world and was once whisked round the dance floor by Prince Philip.
She also stayed in all the Royal residences, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral.
Marjorie married a Royal butler, Willoughby Wood Barnard, but they had no children.
Her great-cousin David Knibb, 69, from Jersey, said she was also good friends with Lionel Blair and actress Thora Hird.
He said: “As Princess Alexandra’s maid, her first job in the morning was to wake her up with a cup of tea and open the curtains.
“On one occasion at Buckingham Palace she accidentally went into the wrong bedroom and woke up Princess Margaret.
“It was her job to arrange all the clothing and accessories needed for the princess and also pack for royal visits which demanded two outfits a day.
“She also looked after the princess’s jewellery collection.”
Jim Spencer, from Hansons, said: “Marjorie claimed the secret of her long life was a regular glass of whisky and a portion of fish and chips.
“Perhaps that’s why the royals liked her so much. She must have cherished her career because she kept every little thing.
“She was clearly a steadfast, treasured, loyal and devoted royal servant who gained the affection of the family she served.”
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