14th Feb, 2024 10:00

Antiques & Fine Art

  Lot 978


A collection of personal letters from HRH The Prince of Wales, now HM King Charles III, to Douglas Wilmer and his widow

A collection of personal letters from HRH The Prince of Wales, now HM King Charles III, to Douglas Wilmer and his widow. The correspondence prompted by Douglas in April 2013 and including five letters from Charles, each hand signed, two in glazed frames, with envelopes retained and copies of Douglas' correspondence. A wonderfully humorous and heartfelt exchange. E.g.: ...By the way, as I have always loved those Sherlock Holmes stories, it was marvellous to be reminded of your appearance in those B.B.C. Sherlock Holmes series in the 1960's. Do you know whether one can ever find the recordings of that series as I was away at school in those days and missed them? It would be such a joy to watch them now as, on the whole, there is such rot on the television!.... A letter dated 12th April 2016 to Douglas' widow reads...

just wanted to write and say how desperately sorry I was to hear the very sad news about your husband and to send you my deepest sympathy. I can only begin to imagine what an immense emptiness there must now be in your life and my heart goes out to you...

I was so very touched when your husband sent me his marvellous memoirs only a couple of years ago and I much enjoyed our subsequent correspondence. His memoirs were such a splendid account of the personalities he had come across during his career, and I was astonished at the way he was able to recall so much detail...
I am glad to say that I can just recall his brilliant portrayal of Sherlock Holmes on television during the 1960s and I shall now make absolutely certain I get hold of that series to watch it again. I need hardly tell you that I can't help thinking that they did these things so much better in those days!
I cannot bear it that yet another wonderful figure from that remarkable generation has now left us. We are all so much the poorer for his absence and while I am only too aware that this letter is hopelessly inadequate under the circumstances, and will probably be of very little comfort in making your sense of loss any easier to bear, I did so want you to know just how much you are in my special thoughts and prayers at such a heartbreaking time.

Provenance: From the Estate of Douglas Wilmer (1920-2016) star of stage and screen, best known for his definitive 1960s B.B.C. portrayal of Sherlock Holmes

Sold for £1,300


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Auction: Antiques & Fine Art, 14th Feb, 2024


Friday 9th February 1pm until 5pm

Saturday 10th February 9am until 1pm

Monday 12th February 9am until 6pm 

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