Norfolk

Queen Victoria's big bloomers and boots up for sale

Queen Victoria's bloomers Image copyright Hansons
Image caption The silk pants are described as "large size" by the auction house

A pair of Queen Victoria's "ample" bloomers and two pairs of her boots are to be auctioned as they were taking up too much room in the owner's wardrobe.

The royal undies are thought to have been given to Victoria's official photographer, Alexander Lamont Henderson, by her servants.

His great-great-grandson Roderick Williams said the not-so-small smalls had been passed down the generations.

Mr Williams, who lives near Norwich, said he "needs to make some space".

Although the silk bloomers are on the roomy side, auctioneer Charles Hanson said the leather boots were a size four and "show how dainty and narrow her feet were".

"The makers, J Sparks-Hall of London, claimed she wore their boots daily," he said.

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Two pairs of boots are included in the sale

Mr Williams said his ancestor worked for the monarch up to her death in 1901, and he thought the clothes were probably given to him by royal household servants, in return for taking photographs of them.

"We think Alexander caught Queen Victoria's attention thanks to his experimental colour work with glass plate lantern slides and enamels," he said.

"She commissioned several coloured enamel pictures. These included portraits of her husband, Prince Albert, and her Scottish attendant, John Brown."

Image copyright Hansons
Image caption Silk and lace bodices and a skirt were among items given to the royal photographer

Although Mr Williams said he would not be selling those, the pants and boots, along with stockings, bodices and a skirt, will go under the hammer in Etwall, Derbyshire on Tuesday.

The boots have a guide price of between £1,500 and £2,000 and the bloomers, which date from about 1880, are expected to fetch between £600 and £800. However, the combined lots, including the other items of clothing, are expected to sell for considerably more.

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