By: Guest Columnist Victoria Osborn

Their engagement was official on February 24, 1981 and the world was captivated by the young Lady Diana Spencer who selected a 12 carat diamond ring surrounded by an oval blue Ceylon Sapphire set in an 18 karat white gold. A ring we would see again on another Princess’s hand.
Immediately millions of copies were manufactured in well-established high end jewelry shops.
Around the world, as the couple married on July 29, 1981 in the wedding of the century at St. Paul’s Cathedral with an estimated 750 million watching, and we have kept watching.
This year marks the 20th anniversary since Princess Diana died in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997. We are still watching and collecting British royalty memorabilia. When Princess Diana’s Granddaughter, Princess Charlotte was born all things Charlotte quickly sold out and the sales have been doubling in the past decade as millions want to own a piece of history and to savor the moment.
Most royal pieces are mass produced and are readily available to collectors. But that was not always the case. Not until the time of Queen Victoria, when a much larger middle class emerged in Great Britain that created demand for the pieces as disposable income increased.
Generally speaking royal memorabilia tends to be only valuable if it’s very old or personal pieces from the royal family. Autographed royal presentation photographs are highly sought after and tend to hold their value. As does items owned by the family, such as an intercom telephone from Buckingham Palace that was thrown into a skimp when the palace was refurbished, selling for over four thousand pounds.
One can recall the 1987 Duke and Duchess of Windsor sale at Sotheby’s where a record was set when jewelry she had owned went for over eight million pounds. From trading cards, umbrellas, plates, mugs, dolls, books, pictures, post cards, coins, stamps, to pretty much anything you can think of there is a collector wanting it with the images of the British royal family on it. You can purchase official programs of Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s wedding for about $150.00. The same price will get you official programs of their son’s wedding to Catherine Middleton.
One of the largest collections of all things British royalty can be found in the 10,000 plus items accumulated by Mary Tyler, one of the crown’s most loyal subjects. She has met Prince Charles and Andrew as well as the Queen and has four rooms in her home dedicated to her beloved family. She says nothing is ever enough and she will never stop collecting. Since it is her passion. Words of wisdom in that one should collect only what they have a passion for.
The youngest and latest additions to the royal family are doing their part to keep the dream alive as demand for all things Prince George and Princess Charlotte are brisk. Long live The Queen and the House of Windsor.

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