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God Save the Queen – a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II as she celebrates her platinum jubilee


On April 21st 1926, at 17 Bruton St., Mayfair, London, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York was born to the Duke and Duchess of York. As the Duke was the second son of King George V, Princess Elizabeth was not destined to be Queen. However, when her uncle, King Edward VIII abdicated in 1936, the Duke of York became King George VI and the Princess Elizabeth became heir presumptive. 

While carrying out an overseas tour of Kenya, the 25-year-old Princess acceded to the throne on the death of her beloved father, on February 6th 1952, becoming Queen Elizabeth II.

Not surprisingly, the Queen’s reign has seen many ‘firsts’, starting with her coronation at Westminster Abbey on June 2nd 1953, which was the first coronation ceremony to be broadcast live on television.  Shortly after, the Queen’s round the world tour saw her become the first reigning monarch of Australia and New Zealand to visit those countries and in 1957 she became the first Canadian monarch to open a parliamentary session there.

On the occasion of her coronation, the Queen and Prince Phillip were already parents to Prince Charles and Princess Anne. The arrival of their third child, Prince Andrew in 1960, made the Queen the first reigning monarch to give birth since Queen Victoria in 1857. Since then, there have been many more royal babies born and with each one, there has been a huge variety of royal baby memorabilia released. Today, alongside the traditional items such as plates, mugs and silver spoons, there are also more contemporary items including soft toys and pieces of jewellery, making this an attractive area of collectables for both the experienced and novice collector alike.

We are so used to seeing members of the Royal Family meeting the public when on tour that it is easy to overlook that it wasn’t always so. In 1970, marking a huge step towards the modernisation of the Royal Family, Her Majesty undertook the first Royal Walkabout during a tour of Australia and New Zealand. This event occurred a year after the (in)famous documentary ‘Royal Family’ which was the result of cameras filming members of the Royal Family at work and play over several months. This was a first for The Family that has never been repeated since; although made in an attempt to show the human side of the royal family, the documentary met with mixed reviews. Some welcomed the opportunity to witness the interactions between family members in off-duty scenes, while others felt the documentary trivialised the monarchy. Broadcast on June 21st 1969, the documentary attracted 30 million viewers but was immediately retired to the royal archives, never to be seen in its entirety again.

September 9th 2015 was the historic date when, at the age of 89 years and 141 days, Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning female monarch in world history. Throughout her reign there have been many notable milestone jubilees and anniversaries, including the Silver Jubilee (1977), the Golden Jubilee (2002), Her Majesty’s 80th birthday in 2006, the Diamond (60th) wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in 2007, Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and 90th birthday in 2016 and finally the Sapphire Jubilee marking 65 years of the Queen’s reign, making her the first British Monarch to reach this momentous milestone. For these Royal celebrations and other events such as Royal Weddings and Births, there is always a raft of memorabilia and commemorative items that are released to the delight of ardent Royalists and collectors alike. If you are looking for royal memorabilia for sale, our Royal and Commemorative items include ceramic ware and coins, as well as artwork and books.

Commemorative coins

The Royal Mint releases proof coins on the occasion of important Royal events which are sought after by collectors of Royal Memorabilia and numismatists (coin collectors) alike. Such coins are usually gold or silver which gives them value just for the precious metal and commemorative coins 

tend to appreciate in value over time. One such example of this is the 22-carat gold wedding coin commemorating Prince William and Kate Middleton’s marriage which rose from £1,750 in April 2011 to £3,000 in May 2012, because of the rise in the price of gold.

What makes Royal Memorabilia valuable?

As with most areas of collectables, factors to consider include age, condition and rarity. The collectors’ market will also impact value; ceramic memorabilia, for example, may be in less demand than commemorative coins depending on who is buying.  The bottom line however, is that no particular type of merchandise is worth more or less than another. Experts will only agree that mass produced, contemporary items are likely not to appreciate and it is preferable to buy the best you can afford in terms of quality and condition.

Novice collectors should always collect pieces to enjoy rather than as an investment, while the experienced collector should look for rare objects, particularly old pieces or very personal items whether that is a mug, a piece of cake or a coin.

Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth II has experienced many highs and a number of lows. She herself named 1992 as her annus horribilis as it saw the marriage breakdown for three of her four children plus a devastating fire at her beloved Windsor Castle, while 2002, the year of her Golden Jubilee celebrations, saw the deaths of both her mother Elizabeth, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, her only sibling and younger sister. And of course, most recently, 2021 saw the passing of HRH Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen’s husband of over 73 years. Subsequently, the market for militaria, particularly Royal Navy memorabilia and Royal Artillery memorabilia has increased.

On her 21st birthday, the then Princess Elizabeth made a radio broadcast from Cape Town in which she dedicated her life to the service of the Commonwealth, saying ‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.’ Almost 75 years later, as she prepares to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, the child who was never destined to be Queen is now a mother of four, grandmother to eight, great grandmother to twelve and beloved monarch to millions, and she has never faltered in her promise of devotion.

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