Page last updated at 11:28 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 12:28 UK

In pictures: Royal items auction

Photo of Queen Mother and William Tallon

William Tallon, known as Backstairs Billy, served the royal family for 52 years. He died last November, and 700 items of royal memorabilia he collected have been auctioned in Colchester, Essex.

A photograph of William Tallon dancing with the Queen

He and the Queen Mother became very close over the years. Not every servant got to dance with their royal employer. This photo was in a bundle that sold for 1,700.

Letter from the Queen Mother thanking William Tallon for gifts.

Mr Tallon received many letters from the Queen Mother. This one thanked him for nursing her beloved corgi Geordie shortly before the dog died.

Six Royal service medals.

Also under the hammer was an important set of six royal service medals awarded to Mr Tallon for his time as steward and page to the Queen Mother.

A letter from Princess Diana to William Tallon thanking him for gifts.

Sold for 5,000, a letter from Princess Diana thanking Mr Tallon for a gift following the birth of Prince William. She wrote: "We are not sure at the moment what has hit us, except a very strong pair of lungs!"

Inscribed Snuff box

This inscribed silver snuff box was given to Mr Tallon by the Queen Mother in recognition of "40 years of faithful service".

Autographed photo of the Queen Mother - signed and dated 'Elizabeth R 1969'.

Mr Tallon had dozens of photographs of the Queen Mother. This framed shot is signed and dated "Elizabeth R 1969".

Dress waistcoat

Also sold was his dress waistcoat with gilt brass crown buttons, worn for official functions. Beneficiaries of his will, including a charity, will be announced in two weeks.

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