Queen Camilla makes Antiques Roadshow history with rare find

Queen Camilla visits The Emmaus Community in south London

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In one of her last appearances as the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla appeared on the BBC staple and brought with her an item from the royal collection. Silver specialist Duncan was amazed by the silver snuff box and explained the royal had made Antiques Roadshow history, much to the delight of the Queen Consort.

“I wanted to bring along something that was associated with Cornwall,” the 75-year-old explained as she spoke with Duncan while filming at The Eden Project.

“And of course, it doesn’t exist now but in those days there was a silver mine here.”

“Yeah, just 40 minutes away,” Duncan confirmed as the royal added: “And this was a result of Wheal Duchy.”

“It’s an absolute treasure,” Duncan remarked. “There is an inscription inside which tells us all about it.

“The inside’s beautifully gilded, like the day it was made.

“The man who made it is a man called John Northam, who has various boxes that were made for Prince Regent back in 1800 to 1820.

“He was a hugely skilful craftsman and an extraordinary man. And this is just a treasure.”

He went on to admit: “In all my years in silver, it’s the first bit of silver I’ve ever seen that’s made out of English silver.”

“Is it?” the Queen Consort asked, shocked. “I can’t believe that.”

“It’s absolutely true, I’m so thrilled to see it,” Duncan beamed at the find.

“I suppose we’re not known for our silver, are we?” Camilla pointed out.

She continued: “It’s got a nice sort of heavy feel about it. hasn’t it?”

“It’s lovely, in every way it’s lovely,” Duncan agreed. “The front piece is really difficult to make, but John Northam was a very skilful fella.

“And I am just thrilled to see it – I’m so grateful for you sharing it.”

“Well, I’m so delighted that I’ve actually brought something that you’ve never seen before,” the royal smiled.

“We were determined to find something that was associated with Cornwall,” she detailed.

“Well, you couldn’t have done better,” Duncan assured her majesty.

The Queen Consort had also brought along a more personal item to share with book specialist, Justin Croft.

It was a copy of Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.

The royal explained it was special to her because she’s always loved Gray and the poem, as well as the illustrations in the book.

Antiques Roadshow continues on Sunday at 8pm on BBC One.

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