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Bound, signed copy of Earl Spencer’s funeral tribute to Diana to come under the hammer

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West Midlands auction house Cuttlestones has two lots that will be of great interest to collectors of Royal memorabilia set to come under the hammer during its Friday, 19th April Specialist Collectors’ Auction.

With the world in mourning for the ‘People’s Princess’, Diana, Princess of Wales’ funeral, which took place at Westminster Abbey on the 6th September, 1997 was one of the most watched events in history; traced by an estimated 2 billion people worldwide. The service itself, however, was attended by a glittering guest list from the worlds of Royalty, Politics and show business alongside representatives of the numerous charities Diana supported.

It is from this exclusive service that the first lot of interest hails; in the form of a hard bound copy of Earl Spencer’s eulogy to his late sister. Complete with its own presentation box the tome is one of only a limited number signed by Earl Spencer himself to be presented to guests on the day of the funeral. The document features the Althorp family crest on each page, and the first page reads:

I stand before you today, the representative of a family in grief, in a country in mourning, before a world in shock.

“We are all united, not only in our desire to pay our respects to Diana, but rather in our need to do so. For such was her extraordinary appeal that the tens of millions of people taking part in this service all over the world, via television and radio, who never actually met her, feel that they too lost someone close to them in the early hours of Sunday morning. It is a more remarkable tribute to Diana than I can ever hope to offer her today.

The second lot of Royal interest harks back to an outpouring of public grief that took place almost a Century before, following the demise of Britain’s longest-serving Monarch, Queen Victoria. A single, folded sheet dated 2nd February 1902, the funeral service sheet provides an insight into a tribute befitting the Queen who presided over England’s domination as the global power of the age. Hymns such as ‘Now the labourer’s task is over’ and ‘Sleep thy last sleep’ demonstrate Victoria’s achievements in life, whilst the readings remind us that in death even the grandest of monarchs is unequal to God: “Like as a father pitieth his children so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For He knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust.”

Both of these fascinating lots are set to sell in Wolverhampton on Friday, 19th April as part of Cuttlestones’ Wolverhampton Specialist Collectors’ Sale. Viewing will be from 10am – 7pm on Thursday, 18th April and the morning of the sale, with the catalogue available online at from Friday, 12th April. For those unable to attend on the day of the sale, telephone, commission and live internet bidding options are available. For further information call 01902 421985.

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