A Fine Collection of Royal Household Awards

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Date of Auction: 4th December 2001

Sold for £2,100

Estimate: £1,400 - £1,600

Thirteen: Albert Edward Wakeford, Page of the Backstairs to Her Majesty Queen Mary

Royal Household Faithful Service Medal, G.V.R., 1st issue, suspension dated ‘1893-1913’, with two scroll bars, ‘Thirty Years’ and ‘Forty Years’ (Albert Edward Wakeford); The Royal Victorian Medal, V.R., Silver; Jubilee 1897, silver; Coronation 1902, bronze; Coronation 1911; Jubilee 1935; Belgium, Royal Household Medal, Albert I, gilt, with gilt crowned monogram on ribbon; Denmark, Medal of Recompense, Christian X, gilt with crown; Serbia, Royal Household Medal, gilt; Italy, Royal Service Medal, Victor Emanuele III, gold; Rumania, Faithful Service Cross, gilt; Prussia, General Medal of Merit, Frederick William III, silver; Afghanistan, Amanullah Royal Service Medal, gold, the group court mounted as worn, generally good very fine or better and rare (13) £1400-1600


See Colour Plate I

R.V.M. awarded 16 March 1901: Page to H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York, on the occasion of H.R.H. visit to the Colonies - the cruise of H.M.S. Ophir. One of only two awards for this royal tour of the Empire.

Albert Edward Wakeford started his career as a clerk in the Duke of Portland’s estate office at Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, and was subsequently appointed to the backstairs to the Duke of Clarence. Upon the death of the Duke he was retained by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, later King George V and Queen Mary, and accompanied them on their tour of the Colonies in 1901. They set sail in the P. and O. liner Ophir, temporarily commissioned in the Royal Navy, to visit Australia and New Zealand, a visit to which Queen Victoria had given her consent before her death. They sailed via Gibraltar, Malta, Port Said, Colombo and Singapore, and visited Melbourne, Brisbane and Sidney before New Zealand and Mauritius. They returned home by South Africa and Canada, docking at Portsmouth on 1 November 1901. Eight days later the Duke was made Prince of Wales. Wakeford was subsequently a guest of Their Majesties at the reunion dinner held at the Criterion for the crew and staff of the ship.

Wakeford retired form service due to ill health four years before his death in 1936. He was received by the King and Queen on the occasion of his retirement and, after conversation with members of the Royal family, was presented with a beautiful travelling clock in the shape of a half-moon. During his illness he was visited at his home by Queen Mary.