In 1961, Margaret Andrews, now 82, bought a green silk coat from a jumble sale in Epsom, Surrey for 10.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, Margaret was flicking through a magazine when, astonishingly, she spotted a photo of the Queen wearing the same silk coat that she had bought at the jumble sale almost 50 years ago.

The photo was taken during the Malta leg of the Queen's tour of the Commonwealth in 1954.

Margaret wore the coat for years before passing it down to her daughters Gaynor and Rosalyn, and her grand-daughter who, appropriately, is named Queenie.

My 10 coat was owned by the Queen: Royal history of pensioner's jumble sale bargain

By Rebecca English
14th October 2009
Daily Mail

Royal style: Gaynor (left) and her mother Margaret Andrews (right) with the coat believed to have belonged to the Queen

She may have only paid a tenner for it at a local jumble sale almost 50 years ago, but Margaret Andrews' stunning green silk coat always made her feel like a Queen.

With very good reason, it seems.

For just a couple of weeks ago, the elegant 82-year-old was flicking through a magazine when she spotted a picture of what she believes to be the very same coat being worn by a young Queen Elizabeth on the Malta leg of her 1954 tour of the Commonwealth.

While some may struggle to believe the monarch's designer cast-offs could have ended up in a Sea Cadets sale in Epsom, Surrey, in 1961, Mrs Andrews insists there was an air of mystery about the stylish flared coat even then.

Apparently the organiser of the charity sale, a well-spoken gentleman, told her that it had come from 'a high up place' but when pressed further clammed up and refused to say another thing.

There was no label or identifying maker's mark in it - which made its background all the more intriguing - but it was clearly a well-made item and Mrs Andrews, then aged 34, was happy to pay between 5 and 10 - a significant sum at that time - for the coat.

She loved it so much that she 'wore it to death' over the years before passing it into her daughters, Gaynor and Rosalyn, and even her grand-daughter, who is aptly named Queenie.

Gaynor, 57, said: 'I am convinced the garment once belonged to Queen Elizabeth II.

'My mother bought it from a gentleman who was arranging a jumble sale for the Sea Cadets or Navy. He told her it had come from 'a high up place' but wouldn't tell us any more about where it had come from.

'Mum paid between 5 and 10 for it - which was quite a lot in those days - and thought nothing more of it.

'It was only when I was looking at the television guide a few weeks ago when I saw an old picture of the Queen.

'I thought 'that coat looks familiar' and when I looked closer I realised it was the exact same coat. It's a very distinctive coat so I was shocked to see it on her.

'I've never seen anything like it anywhere else. There can't be any others made like this. It's exquisite and extremely unique.

One careful owner: Queen Elizabeth II in 1954, wearing what Gaynor Andrews believes to be the same coat her mother bought at a jumble sale over 50 years ago

'Mum loves the coat as it's both very stylish and comfortable with a lovely finish.

'She's always been a very fashionable woman who has always enjoyed stylish clothes but I think even she was surprised when she heard of it's history.'

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said they could not comment on the provenance of the coat and would not discuss what happened to the Queen's clothing once she had no use for it any more.

Another source suggested that as far as they were aware, the vast majority of it was archived and stored, however.

The Queen's wardrobe has, since the early years of her reign, been constituted of a mix clothes made by both her in-house design team and couturiers including Norman Hartnell, Hardy Amies and Stewart Parvin.