Queen dressed as pantomime princess with beloved sister Margaret in rare photo


Princess Elizabeth was 18-years-old when she starred as Lady Christina Sherwood in ‘Old Mother Red Riding Boots’ at Windsor Castle. Her sister Princess Margaret played the Honourable Lucinda Fairfax

The Queen attending an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative at The Eden Project last summer
The Queen attending an event in celebration of The Big Lunch initiative at The Eden Project last summer

A fascinating rare original photo of the Queen and her sister Princess Margaret starring in a Royal pantomime has emerged for sale for £1,500.

Princess Elizabeth was 18 years old when she starred as Lady Christina Sherwood in ‘Old Mother Red Riding Boots’ at Windsor Castle.

Margaret, aged 14, played the Honourable Lucinda Fairfax in the 1944 Christmas production for the Armed Forces and local children.

The photo and programme, which lists Elizabeth and Margaret as cast members, belonged to Stanley Williams, who was superintendent of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

The 12x8ins black and white photo, of the large ensemble cast on stage, shows the young Princess Elizabeth looking resplendent in a sparkling dress.

Princess Elizabeth (centre left) was 18 years old when she starred as Lady Christina Sherwood
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Image:

WilliamGeorge/BNPS)

Margaret is stood to her left in an elegant dress, and they are surrounded by dozens of other performers from the Windsor Castle community and the Royal Windsor School.

The Royal Horse Guards orchestra, who provided the musical accompaniment to the morale-boosting production, are lined up at the front of the stage.

The photo and panto programme, listing Elizabeth and Margaret as cast members and also part of the ballet scenes, belonged to Stanley Williams, who was superintendent of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

The full cast at Windsor Castle
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Image:

WilliamGeorge/BNPS)

He is mentioned as a ‘manager’ of the pantomime in the programme, and the archive has remained in his family for eight decades.

They are now selling the photo, which was taken by Royal photographers Studio Lisa, programme and a ticket for the show with auctioneers William George, of Peterborough, Cambs.

A spokesperson for William George, who will auction the picture tomorrow, said: “Stanley Williams was a long standing Royal Servant and was Superintendent of Windsor Castle and later Buckingham Palace prior to his retirement.

The programme for ‘Old Mother Red Riding Boots’ which took place at Windsor Castle in 1944
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Image:

WilliamGeorge/BNPS)

“The lot comes from the family as they want to ensure it stays in the hands of someone who appreciates this group of items’ historical importance.

“Old Mother Red Riding Boots was an opportunity for Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret to provide some wartime entertainment to the Armed Forces and the Children of Windsor.

“Needless to say, the Royal Family and Staff at Windsor Castle worked very hard to provide some light entertainment for the audience at a time when this was in short supply.”

Famous names led the cast
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Image:

WilliamGeorge/BNPS)

The show, combining elements of several different fairy tales, was written and produced by school headmaster Hubert Tanner.

It was performed between December 21-23, 1944, with up to 600 people, including King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, in attendance.

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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