Queen Elizabeth II's Childhood Drawing, Which Her Mom Called "Very Poor," Is Up for Auction


Princess Margaret Rose (1930 - 2002) and Princess Elizabeth (right) working on paintings in the school room of Buckingham Palace
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth II had many talents, but drawing wasn't one of them, if her own mom Elizabeth the Queen Mother was to be believed.

This fun fact has come to light as a drawing a young Princess Elizabeth made when she was somewhere around the age of five, sometime in the early 1930s, has gone up for auction.

The Boston-based RR Auction is accepting bids for the drawing, which is of a house in red crayon, alongside a letter written by the Queen Mother to J. M. Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. In the letter, she refers to her eldest daughter's art as being "very poor," which is kind of uncalled for, but I digress! (You can judge for yourself over here.)

The letter reads, "My dear Sir James, I am so sorry that I did not realize that you were making your speech tonight, I am hurriedly sending round a very poor house I fear. Elizabeth insisted on putting in a roof with lots of little windows for the nursery maids.

"Please Sir James will you not appeal in her name at all, as I have such difficulties over it, and I am not sure what it is that you wish to say. It is not that I would not feel proud to have her name mentioned by you, only I have had trouble keeping her name apart from charities etc. But I expect that you only wish to say that she drew a picture for you of what the hospital should look like. Please forgive me for saying all this, but you can imagine what troubles I get into!

"However, I hope that this very poor drawing may be of some little use. I write this in great haste after having met Cynthia [Lady Asquith] who told me that your dinner is tonight."

She added the P.S.: "If you can manage it - will you not let the Press photograph this."

The drawing appears to be the young princess' proposal for a building in Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, for which Barrie was an advocate and patron.

At time of writing, the set is going for $1,331, with bidding ending on Jan. 10, so run don't walk if you want to own these fun artefacts!

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.