The Story of... Royal Queens and Princesses on the auction block

Newspaper headlines have gone into overdrive following the official announcement of Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton.

And the scenario of a mysterious girl who's beloved by the press marrying into the Royal family to carry it into the next generation will seem familiar to many...

If you're wondering where the sense of déjà vu is coming from, look no further than Kate Middleton's wedding figure. There, according to reports, you will find the exact same £30,000 engagement ring worn by Lady Diana Spencer 30 years ago.

Buckingham Palace announced the engagement of Diana and Prince Charles on February 24, 1981. This sparked a media fascination with Diana that would affect the rest of Diana's life, death and the strength of her posthumous legacy.

One of the best signed Diana portraits presently for sale on the market
(You can find out more here)


Following Diana's death in a car accident in 1997, the public outcry, including then-Prime Minister Tony Blair's famous "People's Princess" speech, made it clear that Diana's legacy would continue to burn strongly.

This has been demonstrated repeatedly at auction in subsequent years. Recent high-profile sales include the dress described by many as 'the gown which made Diana famous.'

Worn for her first-ever official appearance with Prince Charles in 1981, it was sold for £192,000 at London's Kerry Taylor Auctions.

Meanwhile the value of Diana's autograph has risen significantly over the past decade; by 580% according to the industry's PFC40 Autographs Index. In other words, if you'd bought a Diana signature for £1,250 in the year 2000, it could today be worth £8,500.

Of course, Kate Middleton's future holds even more fascination because of the title she is set to inherit as future Queen Catherine of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth Realms (making her the fifth Queen Catherine in history).

Elizabeth II was once a young Queen herself - this portrait sold for $9,000

In comparison, Queen Elizabeth has made some unusual appearances on the collectors' markets in recent years. These include the sale of her personal 1984 Daimler Double Six Long-Wheelbase Saloon, used by Her Majesty to drive around Buckingham Palace's grounds. It brought $77,000 earlier this year.

During her six decades on the throne, Elizabeth II's face has appeared on many high-end collectibles. For instance, rare and valuable collectible coins bearing her likeness have included the British dateless 20p and the Canadian dot cent.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth II remains in control of one of the greatest rare stamp collections currently in existence. It includes a number of exceptional one-offs, such as the Sweet Briar and Cayman Island rarities.

Paul Fraser had the pleasure of selling the famous Kirkudbright Penny Black First Day Cover to The Royal Philatelic Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The exceptional stamp has since been valued at £500,000.

Autographed photographic portraits of the Queen have also sold for thousands - including the above example, which brought $9,900.

Each of these items give clues as to the potential value of Kate Middleton's collectibles in future years, as the Royal family enters its exciting new chapter...


Join our readers in over 200 countries around the world - sign up for your free weekly Collectibles Newsletter today

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock