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DIANA, Princess of Wales; Elizabeth II; Margaret Thatcher.

Christmas cards sent to Margaret Thatcher from the Royal Family, 1996.

Stock Code: 123733
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Royal Christmas cards to Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher's own collection of Christmas cards sent to her by members of the British Royal Family in 1996, 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 1996 was not a particularly happy one for the Royal Family, with both Charles and Diana and Andrew and Sarah formally divorcing.

Comprising the cards of:

i) Prince Charles: inscribed "Lady Thatcher and Sir Denis - from Charles", 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 stamped in gilt on the front cover, and with a reproduction of one of his paintings within a red ruled border on the interior.

ii) Princess Diana: inscribed "To you both, with love from Diana.", with the printed message "Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year 1996". With Princess Diana's crowned coat of arms stamped in gilt on the front cover, and with a photograph within a green ruled border of Princes William and Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie pasted on the interior. This was the last Christmas card Diana sent before her death eight months later.

iii) Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: autopen signed by both "Elizabeth R and Philip 1996", with the printed message "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year". With the Queen and Prince Philip's crowned cyphers within Garter belts stamped in gilt on the front cover, with a photograph of the Queen and Prince Philip in the Western Isles pasted on the front cover.

iv) The Queen Mother: signed "from Elizabeth R", with the printed message "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year 1996". With the Queen Mother's crown stamped in gilt on the front cover, and with a photograph of the Queen Mother at her residence the Castle of Mey pasted on the interior. This is the last Christmas card from the Queen Mother to Thatcher that is known.

v) Prince Andrew and Sarah, Duchess of York (estimated date): inscribed by Sarah "Margaret and Dennis sic love Sarah and Andrew's signature: Andrew", with the printed message "With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year". With a photograph of Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie pasted on the front cover and on the interior, both within a red ruled border.

vi) Prince and Princess Michael of Kent: inscribed by Marie Christine "Sir Denis and Lady Thatcher Marie Christine and Michael's signature: Michael and Freddie + Ella", with the printed message "With best wishes for Christmas and the New Year". With their crowned joint monogram printed on the front cover, and with a pasted photograph of them and their children with "Arizona 1996" written underneath.

Provenance: the estate of Baroness Thatcher.

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Together 6 Christmas cards. Housed in a blue flat-back cloth box with chemise by the Chelsea Bindery.


In very good condition.


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Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

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