It is really difficult for a family as wealthy, powerful and popular as the British royal family to keep every aspect of their lives from the prying public.
For the most part they have been very good at laying low, but of course every once in a while an interesting piece of information leaks and gives us a glimpse into what life is like for the Queen and those dearest to her.
This week, a letter allegedly written by Queen Elizabeth II shortly after the birth of Prince Edward has captured the attention of royal watchers everywhere.
The rare handwritten letter, which was dated August 5, 1964, appears to be a correspondence between Her Majesty and her midwife, Helen Rowe, detailing the first few weeks of her youngest child.
Written from Eastbourne, Sussex but on Buckingham Palace stationary, the one-page letter revealed that the Queen had her hands full with a five month old baby and a sick 15-year-old son (Prince Charles was battling pneumonia).
"Dear Rowie,'' the Queen wrote affectionately. "I am terribly sorry we never got in touch with you before you left London. Mabel [the nanny] was ill in bed when you wrote, and I confess I misread your letter in a great hurry and remembered the wrong day you put down, and when I was away at Arundel last week, I suddenly was reminded of your letter and of course it was too late by then!"
"The baby is wonderful—good as gold, trying to sit up and weighing 15 lbs 12!" the proud mother continued. "He smiles and giggles at everyone, and makes everyone happy! Charles, I’m thankful to say, is better but very frail as yet."
"Yours sincerely, Elizabeth R.," she signed off.
The letter was put up for auction by RR Auction in Boston and it is expected to sell for at least $300, especially since it touches on the details of a scene that will be featured in the upcoming second season of Netflix's Emmy-nominated show The Crown.
The auction also includes another letter written by the Queen and addressed to the nanny mentioned in the first one, Mabel Anderson. This letter, which was writen on March 23, 1964 also talked about Prince Edward, but this time the Queen signed off more casually as "Lilibet."
It read: "What lovely flowers arrived from you today! It was extremely kind of you to send them when all my others had faded and gone, thank you very much indeed for the thoughts and for your congratulations.
The baby is flourishing and gaining weight splendidly—he is a great joy to us all, especially to Andrew who is completely fascinated by him. In fact he considers him his own property, even telling Charles and Anne to 'come and see my baby!' Goodness, what fun it is to have a baby in the house again!"
Asides from the Queen's letters, the auction also featured photographs and memorabilia of the royal family, U.S. presidents and first ladies.