Royals to sell off £1m family treasures

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The Independent Online

Royal treasures worth an estimated £1 million are to be sold at auction by Prince Michael of Kent and his siblings.

The rare artefacts, including silverware, paintings, jewellery and furniture, will go under the hammer at Christie's sale rooms in London.

The items belonged to Prince George, the former Duke of Kent, and his wife Princess Marina.

The Duke was killed in 1942, aged 39, when the plane he was flying in crashed into a mountain in Scotland. His wife died in 1968, aged 61, from an inoperable brain tumour.

Their children - Prince Michael, the present Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra, Lady Ogilvy - have put their parents' collection up for sale in November.

The auction is expected to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for the trio.

From next year Prince and Princess Michael of Kent will have to find funds to pay the £120,000 rent for their Kensington Palace apartment.

This is the first time the royal couple have been charged a commercial rate for the five-bedroom property. Previously the Queen covered her cousin's £10,000-a-month rent bill.

Among the items being sold are a portrait of Princess Louise painted by her mother Queen Victoria, which is expected to raise up to £15,000.

The red silk chair and stool used by the Duke at the coronation of his brother George VI in 1937 will also go under the hammer and has an estimated value of £15,000 to £30,000.

A set of four George III mahogany hall benches have the largest estimate - £60,000 to £100,000.