Victoria’s Secret? Queen Victoria’s underwear to go on sale

Queen Victoria’s dirty laundry is to be laid bare next week – when a pair of her undergarments will be sold at auction.
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The underwear will be sold alongside nightdresses, stockings and hats worn by Victoria and her daughter, Princess Alice, which are currently being held at the Yesterday’s World museum in Sussex.

With a 45-inch waistline, it means the longest-serving British Monarch wore them in the latter years of her life.

The items, which are in excellent condition, despite being over a century old, bear the stamp ‘VR’ for ‘Victoria Regina’. They have been preserved in tissue paper in a temperature controlled storeroom.

Richard Edmonds, the principal auctioneer at Chippenham Auction Rooms in Wiltshire, said: “This is a particularly eclectic sale with a strong Royal theme. Victorian Royal clothing comes up for sale occasionally but rarely in this excellent condition.

“Items of Queen Victoria’s clothing were often given to members of the Royal Household, particularly after her death in 1901.

The items may not go to a British buyer, however, says Mr Edmonds.

“There’s a lot more interest from abroad in this type of Royal clothing than from UK collectors. The market in America and Russia is very strong so we could see lots of buying online or over the phone, or possibly in person at the auction rooms.”

Last year, another pair of Victoria’s bloomers sold for £6,200, and this pair are set to go for thousands of pounds too.

“We’ve been able to date the pants by measuring the waistband,” Edmonds said.

“As there’s such a good photographic record of Queen Victoria, it’s possible to calculate her waist measurement over time, so we know roughly when she would have worn items of this size.”

Replicas of the Crown Jewels are also amongst the collection, along with Royal memorabilia from Victoria’s reign, up until the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997. The items will be sold on 11th July.

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