Can You Spot Queen Elizabeth? Photo from Queen and Princess Margaret's Teenage Play Goes Up for Auction

·2 min read
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret posing with the cast of the Christmas pantomime 'Old mother red riding boots' at Windsor Castle, England on December 23, 1944.
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret posing with the cast of the Christmas pantomime 'Old mother red riding boots' at Windsor Castle, England on December 23, 1944.

Studio Lisa/Getty Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret

A rare photo of Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret from their teenage days is up for auction.

In the 1944 picture, the two princesses pose with the full cast of Old Mother Red Riding Boots, a Christmastime pantomime play held at Windsor Castle for Armed Forces personnel and local children to raise spirits during World War II.

The 18-year-old future Queen, who starred as Lady Christina Sherwood in the show, stands at the center in a sparkling gown. Next to her is Princess Margaret, at 14, who played the Honourable Lucinda Fairfax.

The then-Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret helped stage and performed in a series of pantomimes from 1941 though 1944 to raise money for the Royal Household Wool Fund, which supplied knitting wool to make comforters for soldiers.

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princess elizabeth
princess elizabeth

WilliamGeorge/BNPS Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret

The 12-inch by 8-inch black and white photo and show program belonged to Stanley Williams, who served as superintendent of Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace during the time.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the auction held by William George had a highest bid of £600 ($813).

princess elizabeth
princess elizabeth

WilliamGeorge/BNPS

Until Jan. 31, 2022, visitors to Windsor Castle will have the chance to see six surviving costumes worn by Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret during the World War II-era Christmas plays. Brought together for the first time, the costumes are on display in the Waterloo Chamber, where the pantomimes were originally performed 80 years ago.

Pieces from the Old Mother Red Riding Boots play are included, such as a long-sleeved pink satin and lace dress worn by Elizabeth and a chintz shirt, trousers and sunhat for a seaside scene in which Princess Margaret wore a blue taffeta dress with cream lace bloomers.

The display also features outfits from an Aladdin pantomime, where the future Queen played the title role wearing a gold brocade and turquoise jacket with turquoise dungarees and matching hat. Meanwhile, Princess Margaret wore a red silk dress and matching jacket to play Princess Roxana.

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Pantomimes are a slapstick-style show, which is a family tradition around Christmas in Britain. Typically based on fairy tales, the farcical musicals can be laced with some innuendo-laden rhymes and songs and require frequent raucous interventions from the audience. They often have older men playing female parts, such as the Ugly Sisters in Cinderella, or young women playing male leading roles like Peter Pan.

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