Antiques Roadshow guest lost for words as she learns jaw-dropping truth behind letter signed by Queen
AN ANTIQUES Roadshow guest was speechless after discovering thejaw-dropping truth behind a letter signed by the Queen.
The BBC show visited Helmingham Hall in Suffolk to meet a number of guest with their rare items – including a Donald Trump's vanity set, a rare First World War medal and a working fairground model.
In the repeated episode from 2018, expert Clive Farahar shocked a guest lost when he revealed the value of a family heirloom.
"We're very lucky, we have moved here into the courtyard of Helmingham Hall and the most appropriate one of the most famous Tudors, we have a lovely, quiet little document here, signed by Elizabeth the first herself," he told viewers.
The expert asked the guest to reveal how she came into possession of the item.
She explained: "Well, I think it was purchased or acquired by my great grandfather and handed down in the family to my mother, who is Elizabeth.
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"She received it when she was fairly young.
"Because her birthday is the same date as this document was first signed, so it was given to her because it was the same birth date.
"Her name was Elizabeth, and her married name began with an R, and therefore she used to sign her name Elizabeth R."
Clive was impressed by the story and went onto examine the item.
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"As you can see, it is in pristine condition as a lot of these documents were, there on vellum, which is skin of course, and has been folded and tucked away," he explained.
"The writing is as bright as it would have ever been, including Elizabeth's signatures which is in a slightly different coloured brownish ink, but there it is, the most magnificent signature we have.
"Luckily, thank goodness you have given me a script sheet so I can actually read it, it starts 'Elizabeth, by the grace of God the Queen of England, France and Ireland etc.'"
Clive then revealed that it was valued at a staggering £35,000.
"There is very little sulphur in England, but Sulphur is the main ingredient for gun powder, Queen Elizabeth wanted gun powder, as most monarchs wanted gun powder," he said.
"She was sending off this chap and licence to find gun powder and 007 sort of thing, and it is signed Elizabeth R with the most beautiful papered seal.
"Not a big grand seal, but this is much more business-like, you can see the lions of England and the date is August 25, 1563, which is incredibly early for a piece like this.
"Your mother's birthday is the same, and there we are, now we have to come to a value, what do you think?" he asked the guest.
The shocked guest remarked: "I really haven't got a clue, but we hoped several hundred pounds."
He added: "Yes, well, I think we can do better than that, the signature of Queen Elizabeth's is very desirable and very rare.
"I think I am going to put £35,000 for this."
The guest was left gobsmacked at the huge sum, with the guest admitting she'd have to speak to her brother and sister about the rare item.
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She replied: "I… I would have to speak to my sister and my brother.
"They are probably part owners of this as well as me, yes, I think they would probably claim it."
Antiques Roadshow airs Sunday from 7pm on BBC One.
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