The fascinating remnants of life in Buckingham Palace in the Victorian era have been found under the floorboards of the Queen’s private apartments during rewiring work.
Electricians working on a £369m rewiring project discovered a discarded scrap of newspaper from November 7 1889 – days before the first jukebox was unveiled.
The page from the Evening Standard discusses the merits of a collection of letters from the Earl of Chesterfield.
Alongside the newspapers, were several cigarette packets from the popular 19th century brands Player’s Navy Cut, Woodbine, and Piccadilly.
It is believed that the items were discarded by courtiers to Queen Victoria.
Workers completing the £370million renovations on Buckingham Palace uncovered this newspaper clipping from nearly 130 years ago
The Royal Family Twitter account said: ‘The building work uncovered pieces of history hidden beneath the floorboards at Buckingham Palace’
The three cigarette packets, from the popular 19th and 20th century brands Player’s Navy Cut, Woodbine, and Piccadilly, were found during a renovation project which includes rewiring the palace
Could they be the Kaiser’s cigarettes? The old-fashioned packets, believed to be early 20th century, were found in Buckingham Palace. The German emporah Wilhelm II visited the palace for the funeral of Edward VII in 1910. Pictured above, he stood in the room, where the cigarettes were thougt to have been found recently, alongside eight kings from across Europe. From left to right, back row: Haakon VII of Norway, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria, Manuel II of Portugal, Wilhelm II of Germany, George I of Greece and Albert I Of Belgium. Front row: Alphonso XIII of Spain, George V and Frederick VIII of Denmark
Evening Standard clipping from 1889
The clipping, dated from November 27, 1889, was found in the rooms occupied by the monarch – at this time, Queen Victoria.
She was the Empress of India by this point and her golden jubilee was just two years before. Robert Cecil was the prime minister.
A Palace spokesman said: ‘It was a surprise discovery by the team doing the works. It’s intriguing to consider who might have read these pages.’
In full, the clipping reads: ‘New Work by Lord Canarvon’
To be published on December 10 1889. A limited edition of 525 numbered copies, choicely printed on large hand-made paper, gilt top, rough edges, with a Facsimile Letter of Lord Chesterfield’s, and numerous illustrations in Collotype, handsomely bound in half-vellum extra, price 2/ 12s 6d.
Letters of the Fourth Earl of Chesterfield to his Godson and Successor. Now First Edited from the Originals, with a Memoir of Lord Chesterfield, by the Earl of Canarvon.
These ‘Letters of Lord Chesterfield to his Godson’ have recently come to light, and they are now for the first time printed verbatim, with all their peculiarities of spelling. They are 235 in number, are full of wit and wisdom, humour and playfulness, and the subject-matter is very varied.
The Editor, in a short memoir, sketches the career, public and private, of the writer and his remarks on the Earl’s Irish administration are naturally of peculiar interest. He sums up: – ‘I can honestly say that I began my task with little interest, perhaps with prejudice; I have ended it with strong interest, sympathy) and appreciation’.
The Royal Family Twitter account posted several videos and photos of the items uncovered during the £369million project which began in April 2017.
One of the videos shows rewiring taking place in the audience room, where the Queen entertains her guests, while she was away at Balmoral.
The objects were found during the ambitious renovation project which will see ten miles of water pipes, 6,500 plug sockets, 500 pieces of sanitary ware (toilet, basins and the like) and 20 miles of skirting board replaced.
Experts previously warned there was ‘serious risk’ of fire and water damage to the palace and the priceless works of art it contains due to palace’s perilous state of repair.
The last time the iconic palace was properly refurbished was during the 1950s after it was damaged during bombing in the Second World War.
Posting to social media, the Royal Family Twitter account said: ‘The building work uncovered pieces of history hidden beneath the floorboards at Buckingham Palace including this clipping from the Evening Standard newspaper, published in 1889.’
It added: ‘Also unearthed was a trio of vintage cigarettes packets.’
Costs will total £369million and will be paid for by taxpayers via the Sovereign Grant, the annual fee paid by the Government to the monarch which in 2016 came to £42million.
The work, which began in April last year, is due to be completed in…