Christmas cards sent to Margaret Thatcher from the Royal Family, 1992.Stock Code: 123722
Royal Christmas cards to Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher's own collection of Christmas cards sent to her by members of the British Royal Family in 1992, including cards from Princess Diana and Prince Charles, the Queen and Prince Philip, and the Queen Mother. 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 which these cards mark, 1992, was a consequential one for both Thatcher and the Royal Family, seeing Thatcher's elevation to the House of Lords as a Baroness, whilst her successor John Major took the Conservative Party to their fourth consecutive election victory. In the Royal Family events were less sanguine; Charles and Diana and Andrew and Sarah formally separated, Princess Anne divorced Mark Phillips and married Timothy Laurence, and Windsor Castle was partly destroyed by fire in a year which the Queen famously called the "annus horribilis".
Comprising the cards of:
i) Prince Charles and Princess Diana: inscribed by Charles: "Sir Denis and Lady Thatcher - from Charles and Diana's signature: Diana.", with the printed message "Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year 1992". 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 black ruled border of Princes William and Harry pasted on the interior. This was the last year that Charles and Diana issued a joint Christmas card; they announced their formal separation on the 9 December 1992. The fact that the photograph only showed the children was no doubt deliberate.
ii) Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: autopen signed by both "Elizabeth R and Philip 1992", with the printed message "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year". With a printed photograph on the front cover of the couple at Royal Ascot, 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 1992". 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) Princess Anne and Sir Timothy Laurence (estimated date): inscribed by Anne "To you both, from Timothy's signature: Tim and 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 the couple pasted on the interior. They had got married on 12 December 1992.
v) Duke and Duchess of Kent (estimated date): inscribed "Edward and Katharine" with the printed message "With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year". With their crowned joint monogram on the front cover and a family photograph pasted on the interior.
vi) Prince and Princess Michael of Kent: inscribed by Marie Christine "To you both - may 1993 be a wonderful year for you, and the world! Michael's signature: Michael and Marie Christine and Freddie (13) and Ella (11)". With their crowned joint monogram printed on the front cover, and with a pasted photograph of them and their children on the interior with the hand written caption "Freddie arriving at Eton Sept 92 as a Scholar!" written above, with "1992" written underneath.
Provenance: the estate of Baroness Thatcher.
Together 6 Christmas cards. Housed in a dark blue flat-back cloth box by the Chelsea Bindery.
In very good condition.
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