An unearthed handwritten letter by Queen Elizabeth II gives a fascinating insight into what the late monarch was like as a doting mother.
The two-page note, displaying the late Queen’s coat of arms at the top, was sent to her midwife and close friend, Sister Helen “Rowie” Rowe on 5 August 1964 – just five months after the birth of Elizabeth’s youngest child, Prince Edward.
The royal mother, who would have been 38 at the time, revealed how “wonderful” baby Edward was and how he was already trying to meet milestones.
Sister Helen helped the Queen to deliver all of her four children, with Charles, Andrew, and Edward born at Buckingham Palace, and Anne at Clarence House.
The midwife sadly passed away just two years after the birth of Edward.
The royal correspondence is set to be auctioned off on 28 October in the context of the Best-of-Auctions by Eppli at the Leinfelden-Echterdingen location.
The letter from the late Queen Elizabeth to Sister Helen reads in full: “Dear Rowie, I am terribly sorry we never got in touch with you before you left London. Mabel [royal nanny Mabel Anderson] was ill in bed when you wrote, and I confess I misread your letter in a great hurry and remembered the wrong day you put down, and when I was away at Arundel [Arundel Castle, West Sussex] last week, I suddenly was reminded of your letter and of course, it was too late by then!
“The baby [Prince Edward] is wonderful – good as gold, trying to sit up and weighing 15 lbs.12! He smiles and giggles at everyone, and makes everyone happy!
“Charles, I’m thankful to say, is better but very frail as yet. I hope we see you when we return in October. Yours sincerely Elizabeth R.”
In the letter, the late Queen references her eldest son Charles’s recovery from a bout of pneumonia that summer.
The then-future King, aged 15, was taken ill while camping with his classmates from Gordonstoun School at the Balmoral estate.
The Queen and Prince Philip became parents in 1948 with the birth of Prince Charles, followed by Princess Anne’s arrival two years later.
Elizabeth ascended the throne on 6 February 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI.
Eight years later, the couple welcomed their third child, Prince Andrew.
Prince Edward made his arrival on 10 March 1964. On his 59th birthday earlier this year, he became the Duke of Edinburgh, taking on the title of his late father Philip.
He and his wife, Sophie, are parents to Lady Louise Windsor, 19, and James, Earl of Wessex, 15.