A glimpse of royal treasures on the Antiques Roadshow

The Antiques Roadshow comes from Balmoral Castle this weekend with a glimpse of some royal finds

This weekend’s Antiques Roadshow is set to be a rather royal affair. Following the appraisal of pieces from the royal collection on last year’s Antiques Roadshow at Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland, the Queen granted permission for the show to take place at Balmoral Castle, her private residence in Scotland.

For the filming of two shows, which will air on 6th and 13th December, over 2,000 guests packed the Balmoral grounds in order to see both royal treasures and objects presented by fellow visitors.

The standout item is a Cairngorm Stone brooch (below) set in silver that belonged to Prince Albert who, with Queen Victoria, bought the Balmoral Estate in 1852. The brooch is presented in the show by the castle’s current housekeeper, Sheena Stewart who explained that Prince Albert would have worn it on the shoulder of his Highland dress to hold the swathes of tartan in place.

Jewellery specialist Geoffrey Munn, who is managing director of jeweller Wartski as well as being a Roadshow expert, said that the brooch was emblematic of the castle. ‘The great thing about silver objects is that they are all hallmarked. This one is made in 1847. There are Scottish swords, cannons, pennants and flags on it, so in every way it’s a completely Scottish object.’

Other highlights of the show include a natural crystal weighing 50lb that was given as a gift to Queen Victoria, a diamond tiara that was worn as a necklace by its owner at the Ghillies Ball, which is held annually for all Balmoral staff, and two solid silver stags made in 1870 by Garrard & Co (below), which also made the engagement rings of Princess Diana and the Duchess of Cambridge.

In a slightly different vein, a Land Rover originally acquired by the Royal Household in 1953 for use on the estate will also be appraised and viewers will get a glimpse of rare footage of a young Prince Charles and Princess Anne playing in a children’s electric car in the Balmoral grounds.

The Roadshow experts recently came across the most valuable item in the show's 38-year history. It's thought to be worth more than £1m though producers have not yet disclosed what the piece is. Viewers will have to wait until the spring to find out.

Antiques Roadshow will broadcast from Balmoral Castle on BBC One at 8pm on Sunday 6th and Sunday 13th December. bbc.co.uk/antiquesroadshow

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