Essex

Queen Victoria's bloomers sold at auction

Porter holds up Queen Victoria's pants
Image caption Queen Victoria's drawers had a 38in waist and embroidered VR cipher

A pair of Queen Victoria's 38in (97cm) linen bloomers have been sold in an auction of royal memorabilia in Essex.

The item, among 150 lots which were on sale in Colchester, was sold to a collector from Braintree for £360.

James Grinter, from Reeman Dansie auctioneers, said people liked to collect clothing and "you can't get more personal than royal pants".

He added: "We commented that Queen Victoria would not have been amused - they were enormous and very rare."

Bids in the royal auction were made from around the world.

The most expensive item sold was a 15.5cm (6in) gilded presentation carriage clock, engraved with the inscription "Presented by HRH The Princess of Wales". It fetched £4,900.

Wedding cake 'investment'

The auction also featured a silver apple which was commissioned by Princess Diana and given as a gift to her dresser Fay Appleby to mark their first visit to New York in 1989. It was bought for £3,700.

A programme from the 1944 Royal Pantomime Old Mother Red Riding Boots signed by the cast, including princesses Elizabeth, Margaret and their nanny Marion Crawford, sold for £500.

Image caption The wedding cake was one of 150 lots at the auction

And a piece of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's wedding cake went for £420.

Mr Grinter said: "It's rare, has novelty and I think people like to show it off to their friends.

"They are quite a good investment if you buy them at the right time and it's quite conceivable the buyers could make money on it.

"It's the first piece of that cake we've ever sold.

"We've had lots of Charles and Diana cake in the past. That normally fetches between £100 to £200 a piece, but it has sold for as much as a thousand so this could be a good investment."

The auction sold 146 of the 150 lots for a total of about £42,000.

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