Royal objection scuppers charity sale of Christmas cards

A bundle of Christmas cards signed by Prince Charles will no longer be auctioned in aid of the Alzheimer's Society after objections were made by Clarence House.

The collection of 24 cards had belonged to Charles Quant, a founder member of a Prince’s Committee that concerns itself with improving the natural environment in Wales. Quant died in June, aged 88, after suffering from dementia.

Auctioneers Fellows & Sons had estimated that the cards, some of which were signed by Diana Princess of Wales as well as the prince, could raise £20,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society. However, Quant’s family decided to cancel the sale when officials at Clarence House objected that the cards were personal and should not, therefore, be in the public domain.

Quant had benefited from the help of the Alzheimer’s Society after being diagnosed with the disease in his later years, and his family had wanted to auction the cards as a symbol of their gratitude.

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the society, said: “It is disappointing the event cannot go ahead, but we respect the family’s reasons.”

A spokesman for Clarence House said: “We were asked to approve the sale of these personal cards. The cards were private and sent on a personal basis. That is how we see them and that was our response to the Alzheimer’s Society.”

Quant was awarded an MBE for services to the community and was a Lieutenant of the Victorian Order for his service to the Prince of Wales.

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