During her 70-year reign, Britain's Queen Elizabeth II sent countless letters, some very formal, others personal. One of these private letters was auctioned this Saturday in Leinfelden-Echterdingen: the price was 8,300 euros. A lady from another European country got the bid, said the auctioneer. The starting price was 2600 euros.
A Stuttgart auction house offered the handwritten two-page letter from the Queen (1926-2022), who died in September, from 1966 to a passionate horsewoman. According to the auction house, it was written by the monarch herself and signed "Elizabeth R", addressed to a luxury hotel in London where the recipient was staying at the time.
The addressee Etti Plesch, née Maria Gräfin von Wurmbrand-Stuppach (1914-2003), was married to a wealthy Hungarian lawyer at the time. Her entire passion was equestrian sport, which connected her closely with the horse-crazy queen. Animals from Plesch's stable won the Epsom Derby twice, which was considered the most prestigious race in England.
Letter about Sandringhamer horses
The Queen therefore wrote to "dear Mrs. Plesch" in not particularly neat handwriting that she was "delighted with the pretty photo of the Sandringhamer horses that I received from you and Mr. Plesch for Christmas". The then 40-year-old closed her letter of thanks with the insight that patience is perhaps the most important virtue in horse breeding - and a bit of luck.
And the path of writing to Baden-Württemberg? Plesch actually lived in Monaco, but she also often stayed in her German homeland for important horse races and also owned an apartment in Baden-Baden due to its proximity to the racecourse in Iffezheim. After her death, an employee contacted the auction house with the letter.
Ferdinand Benedikt Eppli from the auction house of the same name assumed two target groups for the letter before the auction. "There are lovers who are looking for mail with an interesting story or from prominent senders," he told the German Press Agency. "And then there are the fans of the British royal family."