Queen Elizabeth II's signed War Department driving permit to auction for £2,000

Reeman Dansie in Colchester, United Kingdom are hosting a Royalty, Fine Art and Antiques auction on Tuesday 8th November featuring over 50 lots of personal Royal memorabilia including Queen Elizabeth II's provisional driving licence.

Queen Elizabeth's driving licence to be sold at auction
Image: Reeman Dansie Auctions


The auction features the normal signed Christmas cards, a couple of lovely signed photos of Her Majesty and Prince Philip, and a few items of personal clothing but it's the War Department driving permit that has caught our eye as it is such a unique piece, which will probably never be seen again.

The Queen's provisional driving licence was issued in 1945 when she was a part of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) which tasked women with vital roles to assist the war effort. 

The Queen joined the ATS at the age of 18 in February 1944 firstly completing a vehicle maintenance course to become a trained mechanic, and later reaching the rank of junior commander.

The driving permit is numbered B1232 and is in the name of HRH Princess Elizabeth II and notes her personal characteristics of 'blue eyes', '5ft 4 inches tall', and 'light brown hair'.

It is dated 1st March 1945 and neatly signed by Princess Elizabeth in blue ink.

The permit is being sold with a number of original photographs showing Princess Elizabeth at work in the ATS including photos of her driving a truck, and also photos of the King and Queen visiting their daughter during her time at the ATS.

The lot is also accompanied by letters from the historian Sir John Wheeler-Bennett asking Princess Elizabeth's ATS instructor 'Miss Violet Wellesley' to write an accurate account of their time together.

Miss Wellesley's letters, many with anecdotes, are also included in the sale. 

The item has perfect provenance, having originated from the private collection of Violet Wellesley the senior driving instructor at the Royal Auxiliary Corps who had been tasked by the King to teach Princess Elizabeth how to drive. 

The licence and associated provenance have an estimate of £1,000 - £2,000 and consider it an absolute bargain if you get it for anything near that.

In our opinion a unique and fantastic piece of Queen Elizabeth II memorabilia.

Update: Sold for £6,800 hammer plus auction commissions/fees

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