Princess Margaret’s lover’s war medals might fetch £200,000 at auction.
When the war medals awarded to Princess Margaret’s boyfriend, Group Captain Peter Townsend, go up for auction next month, they are likely to cost up to £200,000.
In February 1940, the Battle of Britain fighter, who died in June 1995, became the first pilot to shoot down an enemy plane on English territory.
From May 1940 to June 1941, he was the commander of No. 85 Squadron, during which time he flew over 300 operational sorties.
During his career, Gp Capt Townsend used his parachute twice, once when wounded, and destroyed at least 11 enemy aircraft.
He took command of No. 605 Squadron, afterwards RAF West Malling, and the Free French Training Wing, in June 1942.
His royal appointments led to his doomed romance with Margaret, as he was appointed equerry to King George VI in 1944 and comptroller to the Queen Mother’s household in 1953. – I used to be like that.
On July 21, Dix Noonan Webb will hold an online auction for a collection of 11 medals bestowed to Gp Capt Townsend, with estimates ranging from £160,000 to £200,000.
The awards include a Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Second Award Bar, as well as his authentic operational flying log books.
“We are very thrilled to be offering these really valuable medals on behalf of a collector,” said Christopher Mellor-Hill, head of client engagement at Dix Noonan Webb.
“Peter Townsend had two illustrious careers in his life.
“During the Battle of Britain, Townsend embodied the spirit of Churchill’s renowned ‘Few’ and quickly rose to prominence.
“His Royal ties propelled him to popularity in the 1950s, and he is now well-known to a new generation because to the phenomenally successful Netflix series The Crown.”
Gp Capt Townsend traveled the world in his later years to visit child war orphans.
In November 1988, he decided to auction off his honors and awards and donate the earnings to a nonprofit fund set up to help children.