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Ear to the Ground

Queen Victoria’s Undies Sold at Auction

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Posted on Nov 1, 2011
Wikimedia Commons

This portrait of the young Queen Victoria by Franz Xavier Winterhalter dates from 1842.

These are strange times in British culture, what with all the Wills-and-Kate worship set against the backdrop of turmoil over austerity measures and a faltering economy, plus the recent news that the terms of Old Blighty’s outworn monarchical system are being updated to pander slightly less blatantly to the old boys’ club.

Somewhere in the midst of all this confusion comes the startling report that an array of Queen Victoria’s unmentionables have gone on the auction block, and that someone paid £9,735 ($15,534) for a pair of her antiquated underpants. We are uncertain, as we go to print, how to process this information.  —KA

BBC:

Two pairs of silk stockings worn by Britain’s longest serving monarch also went under the hammer in Edinburgh - one pair selling for more than £5,000.

The collection belonged to the US publishing dynasty, the Forbes family.

It had previously been held in Old Battersea House - the London home of the family.

More than £3m was made in the sale of Victorian treasures held by auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull at their Edinburgh salesroom.

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Payson's avatar

By Payson, November 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm Link to this comment

Queen Victoria’s “unmentionables” come up for sale from time to time.  Stacks of
undergarments and stockings were made for her by a firm in Scotland and local
women were paid to embroider “VR” on every item.  It isn’t likely that these were
ever worn by the Queen.  She frequently gave surplus garments, including
underthings, to women in need or who had done some kindness or other for the
royal family.

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By bigjohn756, November 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Now, if they wanted to make some really big money, they could auction some of Pippa’s underwear.

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