- (Photo: Reuters/David Moir)
Queen Elizabeth's panties were sold for $18,000 on an eBay auction. The garments, acquired by the estate of the late Baron Joseph de Bicske Dobronyi, were posted on the internet as a "musem quality collectible."
Queen Elizabeth's panties- worth $18,101 or 11,390 British pounds, according to one mystery buyer- were believed to have been worn on a flight to Chile in 1968. Joseph "Sepy" Dobronyi, a Hungarian aristocrat, came into contact with the famous undergarments through a resourceful friend.
"[Dobronyi's] friend piloted the chartered plane that was used during H.M. Queen Elizabeth's first trip to Chile in 1968," reads the eBay auction listing. Apparently, the knickers were mistakenly left onboard after the flight.
Although Baron Dobronyi passed away in 2010, the estate selling the vintage silk panties are believed to have belonged to the Queen "based on personal conversations with Mr. Dobronyi prior to his death, its physical characteristics, and the writing on the yellow manila envelope where they were stored for many years."
Among those characteristics are a monogram scripted "E" on the drawers, an exquisitely crocheted lace hem, and about a 26-inch waist with 16-inch side length. It is stained and has yellowed over time, but with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee- her 60-year anniversary as monarch- fast approaching, bidders couldn't wait to get their hands on it.
18 bidders engaged in a war of clicks, eventually driving the price up to $18,101. Part of the reason for the bidding war could have been Sepy Dobronyi's name itself: his parents were the crown jewelers for royalty of their country, and he was a known art collector and playboy in Miami, where he emigrated.
Despite the hullabaloo about the knickers of Elizabeth II, the refusal of Buckingham Palace or any royal source to comment on the matter makes its authenticity questionable.
"Since Buckingham Palace or the garment maker have not confirm or deny the authenticity that this pair of underpants are from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, the estate cannot confirm its provenance and it is the buyer's responsibility to do that on their own before bidding," wrote the auctioneer as a disclaimer. "In either case this is an excellent example of a vintage undergarment of that era and very collectable."