The upcoming April Fine Art & Antiques auction at Dawsons includes a collection of items consigned by the family of Robert Smith, who was a Footman at Buckingham Palace. This wonderful collection provides a rare glimpse into the life and career of a man who served the British Royal Family for over three decades. From his early days as a Footman to his later role as a Steward at Windsor Castle, Smith accompanied the Royals on many overseas tours, state events and official visits.
Among the highlights of the collection are approximately thirty Christmas cards, some of which were hand-written to ‘Smith’ by Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. These cards provide a personal touch and offer a window into the relationship between Smith and the young princesses, whom he would have known from an early age. In addition to the Christmas cards, the collection includes a number of interesting items of ephemera, such as overseas tour itineraries, invitations to parties and balls held at both Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, and a group of Christmas gift tags written by members of the Royal Family.
Original black and white photographs showing Mr Smith in close attendance with both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II are also included in the collection. These images capture Smith’s role as a trusted and respected member of the Royal Household and provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the Royals during this period.
One of the most intriguing aspects of the collection is the range of overseas tours that Smith accompanied the Royals on. He was present during King George VI and Queen Elizabeth’s visits to Canada and South Africa, as well as later tours and engagements with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. These tours would have been significant events for both the Royals and the countries they visited, and Smith’s presence would have been crucial in ensuring their smooth running.
Domestically, Smith also played an important role in state events and official visits. He accompanied the senior Royals on carriages and coaches, providing support and assistance as required. His position as a Steward at Windsor Castle would have certainly given him a unique perspective on the workings of the Royal Household and the many staff members who were employed there.
The collection is sure to generate significant interest from both collectors and Royal enthusiasts alike, and the combined estimate of £15,000 - £20,000 reflects the unique historical value of these items.
The full sale catalogue featuring the entire collection will be available to view online shortly.