Queen takes rare Cornish silver snuffbox to be valued on Antiques Roadshow

·3-min read
Antiques Roadshow Camilla - Anna Gordon/ BBC
Antiques Roadshow Camilla - Anna Gordon/ BBC

The Queen Consort has taken a rare all-English silver snuffbox from the Royal Collection to be valued on the Antiques Roadshow.

Camilla, who is a fan of the long-running BBC One programme, joined Fiona Bruce to film at the Eden Project in Cornwall last summer, bringing two personal items to share with the show’s experts.

These items can now be revealed as a rare snuffbox from the RCT made from Cornish silver and mined just 40 minutes from the filming location, as well as a rare book.

The Queen’s copy of Gray’s Elegy in a Country Churchyard was passed down through her family and was revealed to have been bound in 1899 by the Guild of Women Binders.

Book expert Justin Croft admired the edition as the Queen described her love for the poem and the book’s ‘exquisite’ binding.

Camilla, 75, also joined Bruce in a ‘guess the mystery item’ challenge, involving jewellery specialist Geoffrey Munn asking the pair to guess the true purpose of three unusual items - a silver plaque decorated with a pair of eyes, two jewelled arrows and a piece of rock crystal.

Bruce, who has presented the show since 2008, revealed that the Queen Consort “got stuck into” the show and its games.

“The Queen Consort was just terrific fun - she put everyone at ease and was keen to take part in the programme and chat to everyone,” she said.

Fiona Bruce - Anna Gordon
Fiona Bruce - Anna Gordon

The broadcaster added: “The members of the public that came along with their items that day got a bit more than they bargained for as they had no idea The Queen Consort was coming!

“Her Majesty got stuck into our Antiques Roadshow games, though ‘Guess the Mystery Object’ had us both stumped.”

The pair were also revealed to have discussed Her Majesty’s close connection to The Eden Project and her support for The Big Lunch, a charity which is based there, and which encourages people to come together with their local community to share a meal.

Bruce previously said that the Queen Consort “had the full roadshow experience” while filming the episode.

It is understood that Bruce invited Camilla to appear on the show after meeting her at an event at Clarence House and discovering she was a fan of the programme.

The pair were photographed chatting at a reception to mark the 50th anniversary of Refuge, the domestic violence charity, in January last year.

The chief purpose officer at the Eden Project, Peter Stewart, said they had been “thrilled” to welcome the then Duchess of Cornwall and described it as a “very happy and memorable occasion”.

Camilla's was not the first Royal appearance on the programme, however, as the late Queen and Duke of Edinburgh made a surprise cameo in a 2014 episode.

Antiques Roadshow was first broadcast in 1979 and remains one of the most popular factual programmes on BBC One.

The episode will air on Sunday, March 5, 2023, at 8pm on BBC One.