It’s been 14 years since David Linley infamously auctioned off precious valuables belonging to his mother, the late Princess Margaret, to settle a £3 million inheritance tax bill.
And now the family’s treasured possessions and mementos are up for grabs again.
A collector who snapped up 50 of the 800 items on sale in 2006 is now offering them up for sale and with altogether heftier price tags.
This includes the 5.16 carat diamond ring – the collection’s most expensive item – which sold in 2006 for £142,400 and is now on sale for £1.1 million.
And that trend continues with other items of jewellery as the sale also features a Macle Diamond Crystal Ring, by Stuart Devlin, which was sold in 2006 for £30,000 and is now on sale for £225,000.
A Cartier wristwatch which was bought for Princess Margaret as a Christmas present in 1950 and sold in 2006 for £57,600 is now on sale for £125,000.
Away from the jewellery, other items have also increased dramatically in value including the bed which once belonged to the Queen’s grandparents, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore.
The bed fetched £48,000 at auction and is now being offered for sale for £175,000 by the mystery collector.
The man, who does not want to be identified, has set up a website to host the sale – royalpossessions.co.uk – and feels the time is right due to the popularity of the Netflix series The Crown.
He told the Sunday Times: ‘People are at home watching [The Crown], aren’t they? So it’s a great time to sell.
‘It’s not just an investment. It’s a talking point: “I love your ring, darling.” “Oh, yes. It was Princess Margaret’s, you know” — what a great table conversation.
‘The stuff should never have been sold in the first place. But here’s an opportunity. Wow. It’s a piece of history for your children’s children.’
In 2006, David Linley and Lady Sarah courted controversy when they netted £14 million after selling 800 family heirlooms including Princess Margaret’s wedding tiara, which fetched £926,000.
More than 800 items went under the hammer over the course of the two-day auction which saw extremely valuable be sold to the highest bidder.
More than half the items were bought by people in the UK, according to sales figures, with some 16 per cent going to Americans and about ten per cent to Asia.
This included Margaret’s wedding day tiara which went to a female collector from China for £926,400.
A portrait of young Princess Anne by Italian artist Pietro Annigoni went for £680,000 while a gold Cartier cigarette case given to the princess by her father George VI fetched £102,000.
The auction – which was held at Christie’s and regarded as somewhat unseemly because of the seemingly short space of time since his mother’s death – was originally estimated to raise £3 million.