Crib blanket made by Queen Mary in the 1930s sparks bidding battle at auction

The precious grandmother’s bed cover made by Queen Mary and won in a bonnie baby competition in 1938 sparked a bidding battle when it was put up for auction.

Kathleen Pritchard, 83, treasured the blanket all her life and her family even took her to bomb shelters during World War II to keep her safe.

However, with seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, she didn’t know who to pass on the royal memories to.

Instead, she decided she wanted to part ways to help children in Ukraine.

Kathleen Pritchard, 83, decided to auction the blanket to raise money for suffering children in Ukraine (Mark Laban/Hansons/PA)

Ms Pritchard, from Rainham, Essex, decided to put the cover under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers’ Royal Memorabilia Platinum Jubilee auction after hearing about founder Charles Hanson on TV shows such as Bargain Hunt and Celebrity Antiques Road trip.

It was sold to a private British buyer for £400 and the proceeds will go to Save The Children’s Ukraine appeal.

Ms Pritchard’s granddaughter, Carlie Bussey, 42, of New Barn, Kent, said: ‘Nan has so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she couldn’t choose between us for the to transmit.

“She was extremely saddened by the conflict in Ukraine and wanted to raise money to help children there. She chose Save the Children Ukraine’s appeal because Princess Anne is the godmother and her great-grandmother did the cover.

From left, Kathleen’s daughter-in-law Kim Pritchard, Alan Pritchard, Kathleen’s granddaughter Carlie Bussey, Kathleen Pritchard and Charles Hanson (Mark Laban/Hansons/PA)

Ms Pritchard’s mother Florence won the cover in a bonnie baby contest she spotted at a mother and baby clinic in Islington, north London, in 1938.

Two covers were up for grabs – pink for a girl and blue for a boy – and Florence won the prize for Kathleen whose middle name is Mary, named after the Queen.

The cover still has its original ‘1st Prize’ tag and a handwritten note on Marlborough House letterhead stating ‘Made by Her Majesty, Queen Mary, 1938’.

Queen Mary, wife of King George V, was Queen from May 6, 1910 until January 29, 1936. She died in 1953 aged 85.

The bed cover made by Queen Mary in 1938 (Hansons/PA)

Ms Pritchard, a retired machinist, said: “The blanket was my mother’s most prized possession. It was never used but kept in a box during a raffle. It was only given to me after I got married and got pregnant with my twins, Steven and Alan.

“We all love the royal family and are very proud of the royal connection. I have a picture of the Queen above my television set and a plate with Queen Mary’s portrait on it.

Charles Hanson said: ‘I was delighted with the outcome of this auction and delighted to be giving Kathleen the royal treatment.

“It was well deserved thanks to his kind gesture. I was moved by his decision to part with his most precious possession for Save The Children. It was a privilege to help him.

Laura J. Boyer