'Charles and Diana wedding' toast to be auctioned

Toast said to have come from Prince Charles's breakfast
Image caption The toast is to be sold in Derbyshire on 19 July

A piece of toast, said to have come from Prince Charles's breakfast on the day he married Princess Diana, is to be auctioned in Derbyshire.

The mother of a Buckingham Palace maid, who was visiting her daughter at the time of the 1981 wedding, claims to have taken the leftover slice.

Rosemarie Smith, 83, from Derby, said she had stored the slice in a Royal Crown Derby cup at her home ever since.

Auctioneers Hansons said the unusual item could fetch up to £500.

The wedding of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer on 29 July 1981 was watched by a worldwide television audience of 750 million.

Snatched keepsake

Mrs Smith said: "At the time my daughter was a maid at the palace and one of her duties was to collect Prince Charles's breakfast tray from outside his room.

"I was with her in the corridor and saw Prince Charles had left some toast on the tray. I had been thinking about a keepsake from the wedding and saw the toast and thought to myself: 'Why not'?

"We hadn't talked about it much down the years but William and Kate's wedding last year and then the Queen's Jubilee has made the Royals more popular than ever. That got me thinking that my toast could be worth a bit of money.

Image caption Charles is said to have left the toast on the morning of his wedding to Diana

"I just wandered into the auctioneers out of curiosity and asked them if it was worth anything. I was pleasantly surprised to hear them agree with me that it could be of quite some value to Royal collectors."

The 31-year-old slice will go under the hammer in Etwall, Derbyshire, on 19 July.

It is believed to have been well preserved because it had not been buttered and the toasting had dried it out.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: "I suspect Prince Charles was a little nervous on the morning of the big day and this little piece of toast survived.

"It could do quite well. We hope worldwide collectors will appreciate this little bygone of Royalist history."

Clarence House said it had no comment to make on the sale.

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