Christmas cards sent to Margaret Thatcher from the Royal Family, 1989.Stock Code: 123716
Royal Christmas cards to Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher's own collection of Christmas cards sent to her by members of the British Royal Family in 1989, including cards from Princess Diana and Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince Philip, and the Queen Mother. Such cards to a Prime Minister become their property rather than belonging to the government, and as of such Margaret Thatcher kept the cards in her personal possessions until her death, whereafter Peter Harrington acquired them directly from the estate. They here appear on the market for the first time, presented in custom-made box in Tory blue, for both presentation and preservation.
Margaret Thatcher and the Royal Family had strained relations at times - these relations are the basis for the fourth series of The Crown - yet this should not detract from Thatcher's fervent belief in the institution of monarchy. Correct perceptions that the relationship between the Queen and Thatcher was not especially warm, and that Thatcher was no fan of the upper crust which the Royal Family topped, does not undermine the fact that Thatcher did nothing to weaken the institution, and moreover presided over a strengthening of the Family's popular support over her decade in power. The cards represent this strained, significant relationship in an especially human way. Of particular resonance is the Christmas card from Princess Diana - as an artefact linking the two defining women of the 1980s, Thatcher and Diana, the card can have few equals.
The year 1989 was consequential for both Thatcher and the Royal Family, seeing Princess Anne and Mark Phillips formally separate, whilst Thatcher introduced the Poll Tax in Scotland, starting the slide to her downfall - consequently, it was the last year she received Christmas cards as Prime Minister.
Comprising the cards of:
i) Prince Charles and Princess Diana: inscribed by Charles "from Charles and Diana's signature: Diana.", with the printed message "Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year". With the Prince of Wales's crowned insignia within a Garter belt and Princess Diana's crowned coat of arms stamped in gilt on the front cover, and with a photograph within a red ruled border of Charles and Diana with Princes William and Harry pasted on the interior.
ii) Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: autopen signed by both "Elizabeth R and Philip 1989", with the printed message "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year". With a printed photograph on the front cover of the couple, and with the Queen and Prince Philip's crowned cyphers within Garter belts printed on the interior.
iii) The Queen Mother: signed "from Elizabeth R", with the printed message "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year 1989". With the Queen Mother's crown stamped in gilt on the front cover, and with a photograph of the Queen Mother pasted on the interior.
iv) Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York: inscribed by Sarah "The Prime Minister and Denis love, Sarah and Andrew's signature: Andrew.", with the printed message "Happy Christmas". With their crowned joint monogram on the front cover, and with a photograph of Princess Beatrice pasted on the interior.
v) Princess Anne (estimated date): inscribed "To you both, from Anne", with the printed message "With Best Wishes for a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year". With Anne's crowned monogram printed on the front cover, and with a photograph of Anne pasted on the interior. Princess Anne and Captain Mark announced their separation on 31 August 1989.
vi) Duke and Duchess of Gloucester: inscribed by Birgitte "The Prime Minister and Mr. Thatcher Birgitte and Richard's signature: Richard", with the printed message "With all good wishes for Christmas and the New Year". With their crowned joint monogram printed on the front cover, and with a family photograph pasted on the interior within a gilt ruled border, with "Barnwell 1989" written underneath.
vii) Prince and Princess Michael of Kent: inscribed by Marie Christine "The Prime Minister and Mr. Thatcher printed message: "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year" and may 1990 bring you all you hope for. Michael's signature: Michael and Marie Christine and Freddie + Ella". With their crowned joint monogram printed on the front cover, and with a pasted photograph of them and their children in Venice on the interior with "1989" written underneath.
Provenance: the estate of Baroness Thatcher.
Together 7 Christmas cards. Housed in a dark blue flat-back cloth box by the Chelsea Bindery.
In very good condition.
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