Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Saturday, 12 July 2008 17:05 UK

Queen Victoria's bloomers on sale

trying on Queen Victoria's bloomers
The bloomers will be auctioned on 30 July in Mackworth

A pair of bloomers that apparently belonged to Queen Victoria are to be auctioned off in Derby.

The knickers have a 50in (127cm) waist and date from the 1890s, which indicates the monarch had a large girth as she approached her 70s.

Hanson's Auctioneers are selling the bloomers on 30 July and expect them to fetch at least 500.

The knickers, which come from a family in Lincolnshire, were owned by a lady-in-waiting to the Queen.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson said: "These pants, considering their provenance and pedigree, are very exciting.

"They are monogrammed (with VR for Victoria Regina) and crested and we know that they are hers."

Mr Hanson said the bloomers are an interesting piece of social history that indicate Queen Victoria was "a very big lady of quite small stature with a very wide girth".

Queen Victoria lived from 1819 until 1901 and was the UK's longest-reigning monarch.

The knickers are made from a fine cotton and are hand-made.

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