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The Press and Queen Victoria’s Underwear

The “breaking news” across much of the British Commonwealth on Saturday, July 11, was that a pair of Queen Victoria’s underpants had been sold at auction in Wiltshire for “a record price.” By mid-afternoon, at least 29 media outlets in the UK were carrying the story – the BBC, The Guardian, The Independent, the Daily Star, Sky News, The Belfast Telegraph, The Irish Examiner, Scotland’s The Herald, etc., etc. – although there was some discrepancy in the reporting about just how much the royal underwear had fetched.

The BBC claimed it was 10,500 British pounds, while The Guardian said 12,090 pounds (more than $18,760 US). Other news outlets that subsequently picked up the story chose to report the larger sum, although it was not clear whether their investigative teams had delved deeper into the factual record, or had merely decided that the larger sum would make for better headlines.

The auctioneer, Richard Edmonds, told The Guardian that “we’ve had a lot of interest in this sale and the auction room was packed with buyers and interested spectators.” [1] Cheppenham Auction Rooms sold off a range of royal items from the Victorian era to the time of Princess Diana. All the items of clothing were from the Yesterday’s World museum in Sussex.

In advance of the auction, Mr. Edmonds had stated, “There’s a lot more interest from abroad in this type of royal clothing than from UK collectors. The market in America and Russia is very strong so we could see lots of buying online or over the phone, or possibly in person at the auction rooms.” [2]

Apparently, the oligarchs and the 1 Per Cent have an unusually high interest in British royal memorabilia in general and Queen Victoria’s underpants in particular.

In 2014, a pair of Queen Victoria’s silk knickers sold at an auction in Kent for 6,200 British pounds, so to fetch nearly double that price for her cotton bloomers was surprising. Tora Edmonds, from Chippenham Auction Rooms, told the BBC, “We expected to get about 5,000 pounds; it’s the most a pair of Queen Victoria’s knickers have sold for.” [3]

Sky News reported that the value of Queen Victoria’s underwear has, for some reason, “rocketed in recent years – in 2010, a pair of her bloomers sold for only 600 pounds.” [4] That means Queen Victoria’s underpants have escalated in value by a factor of 20 just over the last five years.

Mysterious Detail

The published photos of the royal lingerie show them to be of simple but elegant white cotton, generously ample in size and reaching below the knees, with an embroidered “VR” (‘Victoria Regina’) monogram and a 45-inch waist.

Casting aside decorum about Victoria’s secrets, virtually all of the news coverage focused on that 45-inch (114 centimetres) waist – because that is how the auctioneers were able to pinpoint the era in which the Queen wore this particular undergarment. (Queen Victoria’s lengthy reign lasted from 1837 until her death in 1901, a period coinciding with the development of photography. Therefore, there is a sizeable photographic record of Queen Victoria in her later years.)

Based on that photographic record, auctioneer Richard Edmonds told dailylife.com that this pair of royal underpants “are from the last 10 years of her life,” at around 1891. “Earlier in her life she was slimmer, but her pants got bigger as she got older.” [5]

Well, leave it to the mainstream media to skip over an important detail. The photo of the underwear’s royal monogram shows not just an embroidered “VR” (mentioned in virtually all the press coverage), but directly beneath the letters (and of the same size) are the embroidered numerals “33”. Even the BBC – supposed bastion of thorough and accurate reporting – ignored these numerals (shown in their own photo) and provided a cutline that reads only: “The cotton pants are embroidered with the royal VR monogram for ‘Victoria Regina’.” [6]

Of course, leaving this mysterious “33” unremarked and unexplained invites speculation from any alert, intelligent reader. Did the royal seamstress have to number Queen Victoria’s panties for some reason? And does this mean that there are at least 32 other royal underpants to be sold to the oligarchs? Or was Queen Victoria a 33rd Degree Mason? And is that why the price of her underpants has “rocketed” over the past five years by a factor of 20?

We’ll likely never know unless some brave British historian comes forward.

Royal Knickers-Gap?

And just why is it that the top markets vying for royal Victorian bloomers are specifically “American” and “Russian”? With Cold War 2 escalating, is this some kind of subtle geopolitical jockeying over the monarchy’s role in the current Atlantic axis? Or is the battle for a “unipolar” or “multipolar” world dependent on hegemonic control over the limited supply of Queen Victoria’s underpants?

Indeed, just hours before the auction, President Obama’s nominee for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph F. Dunford, addressed a confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee on July 9 and stated: “If you want to talk about a nation that could pose an existential threat to the United States, I’d have to point to Russia,” he said. “If you look at their behaviour, it’s nothing short of alarming.” [7]

Could Zbigniew Brzezinski have overlooked this strategic aspect in advancing his Great Game for global U.S. dominance, or was Zbig actually a secret bidder for the royal bloomers, phoning in to the Wiltshire auction from an undisclosed location?

By now it should be obvious that we cannot count on the MSM to do its reporting job adequately.

Meanwhile, the buyer of the royal underpants is reported to be an English woman, a private collector who did not wish to be identified. The auction house’s Tora Edmonds told the BBC that “she assumed the pants would remain in England.”

Whether that contributes to geopolitical instability remains to be seen.

 

Footnotes/Links: 

[1]http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/11/pants-queen-victorias-underwear-sold-for-12,000-at-auction

[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/11712229/Queen-Victorias-big-pants-expected-to-fetch-record-price

[3] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-33492358

[4] http://news.sky.com/story/1517392/queen-victorias-big-pants-sell-for-record-12k

[5] http://www.dailylife.com.au/dl-fashion/fashion-coverage/you-can-now-buy-queen-victorias-granny-panties

[6] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-33492358

[7] http://www.globalrresearch.ca/military-officials-declare-russia-the-greatest-threat-to-us-interests

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Joyce Nelson’s sixth book, Beyond Banksters: Resisting the New Feudalism, can be ordered at: http://watershedsentinel.ca/banksters. She can be reached through www.joycenelson.ca.

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