A pocket watch once owned by King Edward VIII highlighted the first day of sales at a UK auction of royalty memorabilia.
The June 19 sale featured the pocket watch as top lot, where it sold marginally above its £15,000 high-end estimate at £15,100.
The tiny watch, cunningly concealed inside a 1902 £5 coin, was first presented to Edward at the opening of the 26th Annual Scottish Motoring Exhibition in 1927. But it was not this event that spurred the considerable price achieved at the auction; the watch was gifted by Edward in that same year to his mistress, Freda Dudley-Ward, a married woman with two children.
The pair had first met as Dudley-Ward and the future king sheltered in a shop doorway from a Zeppelin raid during the first world war. They carried on their affair for five years before splitting in 1923, though Dudley-Ward remained a close friend and confident to the king until the arrival of his other mistress, Wallis Simpson, in 1934.
It was for Wallis Simpson, the king's major love, that he famously abdicated the throne in 1936. Their story has since become one of the best known royal romances in history and still captivates collectors to this day. At Sotheby's in 2010, a magnificent diamond bracelet, given to Simpson by Edward, sold for £4.5m, setting a world record for the most expensive bracelet and Cartier item ever sold at auction.
See more fascinating royal collectibles here, with Paul Fraser Collectibles' top five. We also have a brilliant range of regal items currently in stock. These trousers were worn by that most collectible and fashionable member of the British royal family, Princess Diana.