8th Nov, 2022 10:00

Royalty, Fine Art & Antiques

  Lot 76

Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - very rare military provisional driving license when she was Princess Elizabeth and was serving in the ATS together with a contemporary handwritten account of h...

Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - very rare 1945 military provisional driving license for when she was Princess Elizabeth and was serving in the ATS together with a contemporary charming handwritten and typed account of her service, photographs and related ephemera from her driving instructor in the A.T.S. The late Miss (Major)Violet Wellesley M.B.E.

The War Department Driving Permit No.B1232 named to 'H.R.H. Princess Elizabeth' and stating she has blue eyes, 5ft 4 inches high and has light brown hair and dated '1st March 1945'. Signed by the Princess in ink 'Elizabeth'. Official stamp to reverse No.1 Company T.C.M.T. Camberley and in ink 'Wellesley trainer 1st March 1945' 10 x 8 cm. Sold with a group of fascinating photographs of the Princess during her service in the ATS including driving a truck with her instructor Miss Wellesley, working on trucks, group shots and charming shots of the King and Queen visiting the Princess during her service. Various letters from Sir John Wheeler-Bennett on Buckingham Palace headed writing paper requesting Miss Wellesley to write a frank account of her time with Princess Elizabeth in the ATS for the Royal archives , her charming handwritten account with many anecdotes and typed versions of the same, other Royal letters including an envelope addressed to Miss Wellesley from Princess Elizabeth, press cuttings etc.

Provenance: Major Violet Wellesley M.B.E. (1897-1971) served in the First World War as a despatch rider and went on to become a driving instructor in the Women's Royal Auxillary Corps (Territorial Army) during the Second World War and as senior driving instructor was appointed by The King to teach Princess Elizabeth to drive when she joined up in 1945. She was awarded an M.B.E. in 1946. After her death in 1971 this unique archive was entrusted to her companion who in turn entrusted it to the vendor .

Sold for £6,800

Condition Report

We have been informed by the Adjutant General's Corps Museum in Winchester that they also have an album belonging to Major Wellesley including photographs and a provisional driving licence for Princess Elizabeth which is numbered B1230. Our example is numbered B1232 and has the official Corps stamp and Major Wellesley's name to the reverse leaving us in no doubt as to its authenticity. All the other written and printed ephemera in the lot is original with the exception of the wartime photographs which are post-war reprints ( the copyright for which vests with The Imperial War Museum). The photograph of Major Wellesley with her gas mask bag is the original.


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Auction: Royalty, Fine Art & Antiques, 8th Nov, 2022

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