A collection of never-been-seen photographers of the royal family, including a young Queen and Prince Philip, are going under the hammer – and they're the cutest snaps of the royals that we've seen for ages.
The candid pictures, believed to be taken around the 1940s and 1950s, were taken by Daphne du Maurier's husband, Lieutenant General Sir Frederick 'Boy' Browning, a close friend of the Duke of Edinburgh's uncle, Lord Mountbatten. He was asked to work for the royal family on his return home from World War II, where he was a close colleague of Lord Mountbatten's.
The Queen and Prince Philip enjoying a picnic
In one of the pictures, the Queen and Prince Philip can be seen enjoying a picnic, eating sandwiches and is believed to have been taken on the Balmoral Estate. In another snap, a smiling Queen Mother is sitting on a picnic blanket with Daphne du Maurier. Other pictures include one of the Queen and Prince Philip on board 'Boy' Browning's yacht, Fanny Rosa, and in another, a very young Prince Charles and Princess Anne are playing in toy boats on the deck of what looks like the royal yacht.
A young Prince Charles and Princess Anne
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The pictures are part of an auction of the late du Maurier's collection, including personal correspondence and personal items; there's even a letter written by Daphne shortly after the Queen visited her and her husband in Cornwall in 1962. She wrote about the monarch's arrival: "The Queen inside, radiant, all in white. I don't know what was talked about, I heard sounds coming from my mouth I didn't recognise! She was very nice though…"
The Queen Mother relaxing at a picnic
Rowley's Managing Director Roddy Lloyd, who will host the auction on 27 April, commented: "The black and white photographs record the Queen and Prince Philip in a rarely seen informal setting. "I particularly love the photographer of the Queen Mother standing in a tartan skirt with a corgi behind her; her character shines through – it's enchanting."
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