Canadian buys Queen Victoria’s underwear for $9,000!

August 1st, 2008 - 10:40 am ICT by IANS  


Toronto, Aug 1 (IANS) A Canadian woman has bought a piece of Victoria’s secrets - her underwear! And the Victoria, who owned the underwear, was none other than the great Queen Victoria of Britain. Also known as the Express of India, she was the longest-serving British monarch who ruled from 1837 to 1901.

“Yes, Queen Victoria’s underwear is the latest addition to my collection of thousands of items related to her period,” Barbara Rusch told IANS.

The 59-year-old commercial property manager in Toronto said she paid $9,000 for the underwear at a recent auction in Derby in England. She said she also bought a chemise belonging to the queen for $8,000.

“The underwear has a waist of 50 inches, and the chemise has a bust of 66 inches. Which show that Queen Victoria was a huge woman, though she was not even five feet tall. These items were with a family whose ancestor served as a lady-in-waiting with the queen,” Rusch said.

Surprisingly, Rusch won her bid on the phone. “When they held the auction in England, I got on the phone and outbid others to own these precious items,” she said.

The Toronto woman said she could not wait to lay her hands on the queen’s knickers. “I have not received the invoice yet. Once I send them the money, the auctioneers will ship the items to me,” she said.

Asked what drove her to collect Queen Victoria’s personal items, she said the British monarch left her imprint on her age - now famously called the Victorian era.

“Three decades ago, I got interested in the social history of the 19th century. And nobody symbolized that period better than Queen Victoria,” said Rusch who heads the Ephemera Society of Canada which works to preserve old historical, social, cultural and commercial items and documents.

Since then, Rusch said, she has been collecting items related the monarch and her reign.

Asked about the most precious items in her collection, she said, “I have a bracelet made of her daughter’s hair, a pair of pink silk stockings that the queen wore till her husband was alive, and a swatch of her silk dress laced with beadings.”

She said her collection also included special menus the queen ordered for royal weddings, the queen’s images used in advertisements at that time, and beautiful greeting cards she sent and received.

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