Friday 15th January 2021 - Belle Gait
Click here to read more about the incredible documents going under the hammer on 27th March 2021
Stamford Auction Rooms, located in the picturesque town of Stamford in Lincolnshire, have another incredible sale running on the 27th March. The Private Documents of Royal Bodyguard Kenneth Mayer have been consigned to the March sale and Jessica Wall, the director & senior valuer has worked in auctions for 25 years. She is ecstatic to be selling these intriguing items. They are incredibly rare and Jessica believes they will attract interest from a variety of bidders ranging from Royalists, to militaria collectors.
Some of the prime lots include Royal Tour Documents. Kenneth Mayer QPM, who was seconded from his position as a Metropolitan police officer to serve as a personal protection officer (PPO) for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
This service took place between 1963 – 1965 when Mayer embarked on several Royal Tours, either with Prince Phillip alone, or along with HM Queen Elizabeth and other Royal family members on joint tours.
Many of the private documents going under the hammer in March were produced ‘in house’ by Buckingham Palace and were intended for nominated members of staff who were due to go on each Royal Tour. Of course, this means these items are very rare. These tour documents would often have ‘drafts’ created before final copies were made on typed loose paper; some of these also had Kenneth’s own notes. There are also small booklets which were made closer to the time of departure; these will also be sold.
One such document details an incident where Princess Ann got her finger trapped in a car door: ‘What was also evident in the make-up of Princess Anne in those early days was her strength of character, which was sorely tested at a later date when I accompanied the Queen and Prince Philip to the Highland Games at Braemar. At the conclusion of the afternoon's proceedings a slow drive around the arena in the Royal car was par for the course. As Prince Charles and Princess Anne were to occupy the occasional 'swing' seats in the rear of the car, then unusually the Queen took her seat in the car first with Prince Philip, followed by Prince Charles who sat on the nearside occasional seat.
Last to enter was Princess Anne and as she prepared to step up into the car so she placed her hand on the front door pillar to steady herself.
Unfortunately, at that very moment, the chauffeur decided to check his door by opening it a few inches and then pulled it shut with a clunk, straight on to Princess Anne's fingers. There was a sharp intake of breath from those nearby and I felt considerable sympathy for her as I stepped quickly forward to assist. She grimaced but my quiet comment to her of 'say cheese' was not really required as she gritted her teeth and took her place in the car without further ado”.
Another note tells the story of Kenneth Mayer receiving the customary end of tour signed photograph:
“I did receive the traditional end of tour signed photograph. This was taken at Jaipur Airport as Prince Philip and his entourage posed by the steps of the Queen’s Flight aircraft, prior to departing. I can’t recall whether the Maharaja said anything about fromage, there was some good humoured banter going on, but we all looked suitably happy - a well rested contented looking bunch. The relaxed nature of the departure was in keeping with the atmosphere generated throughout our stay in Princely Jaipur. Even so once the group broke up after the photo session, Royal Flight protocol returned and I walked briskly up the aircraft steps leaving just Prince Philip and the Admiral making their farewells to the Maharaja and the Maharani, some ten yards from the aircraft. It was a matter of regret to me that I could only acknowledge their hospitality by a firm nod and a mouthed 'thank you’ as I made my way up the steps and into the aircraft. They responded as ever - with smiles”.
The interesting lots in this sale don’t stop there.
Jessica at Stamford Auction Rooms is also delighted to have an uncommon group of documents to Chief Inspector Mayer when accompanying HRH, The Duke of Edinburgh to the funeral of the late JFK. The President John F Kennedy Funeral Documents dated 24th November – Tuesday 26th November 1963 will also go under the hammer on 27th March 2020. These items will include loose papers, typed and detailing the itinerary for Prince Charles to attend the full state funeral of the late John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Washington, DC. These documents detail flights, car occupants and the schedule for the Cathedral service along with JFK’s internment at Arlington National Cemetery. Inspector Mayer was travelling in the same car as, Alex Douglas-Home, the then Prime Minister, together with a full list of the cars carrying world leaders and other heads of state.
This is due to be an incredible sale with a variety of truly unique and rare lots scheduled to go under the hammer in the online sale. You can register to bid across the entire catalogue here.