Pampered life of a royal dog is revealed

HOMOEOPATHIC remedies are said to be the preferred choice of the Queen for any Royal racehorse who happens to be off his oats. Her ancestors, however, had a greater faith in the power of the orthodox medicines of their time.

The Princess of Wales - later Queen Alexandra - had frequent prescriptions filled for her dogs, Billie, Fluffy, and Punch. Billie it seems, was a touch arthritic, needing regular doses of sodium salicylate to relieve stiff joints.

Billie's prescription is one of hundreds preserved in spidery, copper-plate script in a battered physician's and pharmacist's ledger, dated 1899-1900, included in a sale of medical memorabilia at Christie's on Thursday.

The origin of the ledger is unknown, although a clue is given in the flyleaf. A note referring to a Dr Marley Sims, suggests that he should be contacted 'if there is a problem with the Duke of York's tonic'.

It is clear that the owner of the ledger, which is expected to sell for between pounds 300 and pounds 500, treated only the cream of London society and European aristocracy. Alongside the names of Billie, Fluffy and Punch, the Princess of Wales and the Duke of York (later King George V), are those of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII); the Duchess of York (Queen Mary); Prince Edward of York, who became Edward VIII; and Prince Albert of York (later King George VI).

Unlike the infamous ledgers from A R Clark's Chemists at Braemar, Deeside, which showed that the royal family and their guests at Balmoral between 1897 and 1914 were well-dosed with opium and cocaine-based remedies - this ledger records treatments for what appear to be only minor ailments.

Ammonia carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and ammonium citrate are the principal components of the medicines, with plenty of chloroform water and camphor.

The Christie's sale also includes Prince Albert's medicine chest, expected to fetch between pounds 1,200 and pounds 1,800. The leather travelling case is filled with bottles, ointment pots, pill boxes and a number of prescriptions which show that he suffered from stomach and bowel problems in the years leading up to his death in 1861 at the age of 42.

Another lot is the exquisite dental instruments, with mother-of pearl handles and silver gilt mounts, which were made for the dental surgeon Sir Edwin Saunders to be used only when he treated Queen Victoria. It is expected to sell for between pounds 15,000 and pounds 18,000.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Sport
Jonatahn Sexton scores a penalty
rugby
News
The dress can be seen in different colours
weird news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?