Queen and Prince Philip's 1954 autographs are 'world's rarest'

A 1954 Christmas card featuring the signatures of BOTH the Queen and Prince Philip tops a list of the world’s rarest autographs – but the handwritten ‘Elizabeth R’ is only worth a modest £4,500

  • Paul Fraser Collectables reveals world’s most valuable living autographs in 2020 
  • 1954 Xmas card tops the list, and is signed by both the Queen and Prince Philip 
  • Family card features five-year-old Prince Charles and Princess Anne aged two 

A family Christmas card send to a member of the royal household 66 years ago that  features the signature of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip has been revealed to be the world’s most valuable autograph of a living person.

Antiques house Paul Fraser Collectables put the festive signatures at the top of this year’s list of the world’s most valuable living autographs. 

Surprisingly, the Queen’s signature – signed ‘Elizabeth R’ in ink – has a surprisingly modest value, estimated at just £4,500 for the historic autograph.

The signatures are all the more rare because both Her Majesty, who celebrated her 94th birthday last month, and Prince Philip, 98, feature on the card. 

Protocol forbids members of the Royal family from signing autographs, and signatures from personal correspondence are extremely rare. 

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Autograph experts Paul Fraser Collectables puts a 1954 Christmas card that has both the Queen and Prince Philip’s signatures on it as the world’s most valuable living autographs in 2020

Protocol forbid royals signing autographs on personal correspondence, making the 1954 family card, which features a five-year-old Prince Charles and Princess Anne aged two, even rarer (The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh pictured in 2007 on their Diamond Wedding anniversary)

The sepia-tinged card, written nearly seven decades ago, features a black-and-white photograph showing a young Queen, then in her late twenties, posing alongside five-year-old Prince Charles and two-year-old Princess Anne in 1954. 

The photo makes up the front of the family Christmas card, a tradition that has continued with younger royal families. 

It is believed the card was sent to a member of the Royal Household.

The autograph is featured in Paul Fraser Collectables’ collection, and it is the most valued living signature to have ever gone up for sale.

Other expensive signatures in the same collection include the Queen’s grandson, Prince William at £3,500, Paul McCartney at £2,950, JK Rowling’s signed book at £2,750 and Prince Harry’s £1,750 follow.

The Queen would have been around 28 in 1954 when the festive image was taken. A blonde-haired Princess Anne, then two, is seen standing next to her older brother, Prince Charles, then five

The card, written 66 years ago and sent to a member of the Royal Household at the time, is the most valuable autograph according to the auction house

Most valuable living signatures in 2020 

1. Elizabeth II: £4,500

2. Prince William (signature): £3,500

3. Paul McCartney: £2,950

4. JK Rowling (signed book): £2,750

5. Prince Harry (signature): £1,750


Paul Fraser Collectibles’ Daniel Wade comments: ‘Since 2018 autographs from key modern figures have become significantly more popular.

That’s because the interested age group have reached a time in their lives with more disposable income. 

We’re talking names such as Prince William, JK Rowling and Kurt Cobain. They are among the best performers in the past two years.

‘However, it’s clear that huge demand remains for Queen Elizabeth II’s signature. 

‘Genuine examples are hard to find. And where there’s high demand and low supply, you get strong prices.’

Today, Princess Anne, who was just a toddler in the photo featured in the Christmas card praised the country’s National Health Service for the way it’s coped with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Princess Anne, 69, heaped praise on NHS workers as she shared a message to celebrate International Day of the Midwife tday 

The Princess Royal has expressed her admiration for healthcare workers in a message to mark International Day of the Midwife which celebrates the profession. 

Princess Anne, 69, who is patron of the Royal College of Midwives, shared a message of support in a video clip posted on the Royal Family’s Instagram page. 

The Princess Royal said she is ‘always struck’ by ‘sense of hope and new beginnings’ in maternity wards, explaining: ‘Even in these difficult times I’m sure you are doling all you can to allay anxiety and concern, and ensure that joy and hope pervade.’ 

She appeared to be speaking from her manor house in Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire, where she is isolating. The land is also home to her daughter Zara Tindall, 38, and Peter Phillips, 42, and their families.  

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