A lock of hair belonging to Britain’s King Henry VIII’s last wife Catherine Parr will be auctioned next week.
The 16th century royal’s blonde hair is expected to fetch hundreds when it goes under the hammer at London auction house Bonhams on 15 January.
Bonhams spokeswoman Charlotte Wood said: “We have put the price at UKP150-250 but that is quite a conservative estimate. We have never had the hair of a monarch go up for auction before so it is very hard to tell. If someone has a special interest in it could go for much more.”
The lock of hair is mounted in an oval frame on ink inscribed paper which states “Hair of Queen Catherine Parr, Last Consort of Henry, the night she dyed September 5th 1548 was in the Chapel of Sudeley Castle, Near Winchcombe”.
Wood added to the Daily Mail: “The provenance of the item has been checked and we believe this is the hair of Catherine Parr. It has not had a DNA test, though.”
Catherine Parr – who lived from 1512-1548 – is the most married English queen, with four unions during her lifetime.
She met her third and most famous husband, King Henry VIII, in 1536 after fleeing from kidnappers and seeking refuge with the king’s daughter Mary Tudor.
When her second husband, a Yorkshire nobleman, died, Catherine fell deeply in love with the brother of Henry’s third wife Jane Seymour, however she was forced to end their relationship when the king asked for her hand in marriage.
She married Henry on July 12, 1543, in a small ceremony at London’s Hampton Court Palace. After the king died in 1547 she secretly married her true love Thomas Seymour.
Tragically, six days after giving birth to her first child, a daughter Mary, on August 30, 1548, she died. She was buried in the chapel of her home, Gloucestershire’s Sudeley Castle.