North Devon Hospice's e-commerce team (L-R) Shelley Dayman, Paul Lincoln and Gemma Testro
North Devon Hospice's e-commerce team (L-R) Shelley Dayman, Paul Lincoln and Gemma Testro show off the treasure trove of royal memorabilia - Credit: NDH

Royal Discovery is cause for Jubilee celebration for North Devon Hospice

Joseph Bulmer

The discovery of a treasure trove of royal memorabilia is giving extra cause for celebration at North Devon Hospice in the build-up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The collection includes incredibly rare official photographs of the Queen, Charles and Diana, and even the funeral of Wallis Simpson, the controversial wife of King Edward VIII. There are also decades-old books, crockery, tins and other unusual items in a recently discovered treasure trove of history, which will all be auctioned online next week to raise funds for the hospice.

Paul Lincoln, E-commerce Manager at North Devon Hospice, said: "As we removed the photos from an old, unmarked envelope we immediately knew we had a very special collection on our hands.

"We sell a huge range of historical, specialist and collectible items on eBay and other platforms to raise money for the hospice, and that’s what we’ll do with these unique discoveries.

"It is serendipitous that they have been discovered in the run-up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, because we hope that will spark some extra interest and we’ll get some competitive bidding!"

North Devon Hospice's e-commerce team show off the treasure trove of royal memorabilia - Credit: NDH
North Devon Hospice's e-commerce team show off the treasure trove of royal memorabilia - Credit: NDH

The most unusual part of the stash is a series of photographs documenting royal engagements from nearly 40 years ago. They were largely taken by well-renowned official royal photographers and are stamped on the back for issue to national newspapers.

"These are unique, as it’s hard to imagine any other copies of these photographs survive to this day." Paul added. "They also come from less well-documented royal engagements, which add to their rarity, but as they were taken by official royal photographers they are incredibly detailed, because they clearly had very close access to the royals."

As well as the royal photographs, there are souvenir programmes from the Queen’s Coronation and Silver Jubilee alongside other fascinating memorabilia that is sure to attract interest.

"We really hope that this captures the public’s imagination because we’d love to see these items raise good money towards the cause," said Paul.

"It’s no surprise to anyone that times are tough for the hospice right now. The aftermath of Covid means the demand for our care is increasing, while the cost-of-living crisis means that it is tough to raise funds.

"So I’d encourage any royal collectors out there, perhaps even those inspired by the Jubilee celebrations, to visit North Devon Hospice’s eBay page and have a bid on these incredible items."

To see the full treasure trove of royal memorabilia, visit www.northdevonhospice.org.uk/ebay