The crayon and pencil sketches depict the King’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and father, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. The queen wears a striped dress with purple tiara, red earrings and handbag while Prince Philip is shown in dinner suit and bow tie.
Inscribed ‘Mummy’ and ‘Papa’, they were produced by a very young Charles around 1953-55 when he was five or six years old. They were offered by Hansons Auctioneers recently with a guide price of £5,000-£10,000. After a fierce bidding battle they achieved a hammer price of £46,000. The total paid with buyer’s premium was £59,800.
The buyer, Angus Neill, of Felder Fine Art, London, said: “I am thrilled that I have succeeded in acquiring this highly important pair of portraits.
“The portrait of the Queen is extremely important. The most revered person in the modern age, reproduced billions of times and painted by dozens of celebrated portrait painters, always as the Queen, the longest reigning monarch in history.
“And here we have a portrait of a mother by her first-born child. She is a mummy. A human being. What it reveals to the world is that our new King truly loved his mother. This early drawing is entirely consistent with his public statements shortly after her death. This portrait is unique. Its importance cannot be overestimated.”
They drawings were part of an extraordinary royal memorabilia collection which included 10 early drawings by the King. Together the sketches achieved more than £61,000 and attracted bids from all over the world including Europe, the United States and Africa.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “This was an extraordinary result for an extraordinary find. The King’s touching childhood drawings sparked a global bidding battle. Many people wanted to own one of these early artworks and some will be travelling abroad.
“However, it’s heart-warming to know the King’s portraits of ‘Mummy’ and ‘Papa’, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, have been purchased by a British buyer who truly appreciates their significance.
“Given a crayon and pencil, nearly every child’s first drawings depict their family. Our King was no different. This collection made news all over the world and helped people relate to him not simply as a monarch but as a human being.”
Another item to touch hearts was a home-made birthday card, produced circa 1953-54, when Charles was five, for his father. It featured a sailing boat and ‘Happy Birthday’ on the front. Inside was the message, ‘Papa with love from Charles’ followed by kisses and circles. It sold for £5,500 from a £1,500-£2,500 estimate.
Other childhood drawings by the King included a sketch of a pair of carmine bee-eater birds, signed ‘Charles’, sold for £1,250; a delivery van in Harrod’s-style livery stating ‘Happybright, Mr Charles’s Shop’, £2,000; a rabbit, £1,250; an owl, deer and squirrels, £1,000 and an Easter card featuring a bunny, £1,200.