Victoria’s Secret: Late Queen’s Knickers Auction for $14,000

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David Moir/Reuters

Kate Bain from Lyon and Turnbull auctioneers with a framed pair of silk bloomers undergarments that once belonged to Queen Victoria, before the auction of the Forbes Collection in Edinburgh, Scotland

An auction in Edinburgh, Scotland saw a pair of British monarch Queen Victoria’s knickers sell for $14,000.

The 35-inch sized underwear was purchased by an anonymous buyer, who shelled out £9,375 for the knee-length panties. The pair of white undies were made from “several yards of fine cream silk” and embroidered with the letters VR, which stands for Victoria Regina. In other words, they barely differ from the Hanes we all wear.

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It’s believed that Queen Victoria wore them during the 1860s (it’s to be hoped that they’ve seen the inside of a washing machine since then). Philip Gregory, a spokesman for Lyon & Turnbull auctioneers in Edinburgh, was unable to resist the following pun: “People who collect royal memorabilia from the Victorian era see underwear as the crowning glory in their collection.”

The collection came courtesy of Old Battersea House, which is the London home of the Forbes family, the American publishing dynasty. And it’s good to see that size doesn’t matter: back in 2008, a pair with a 50-inch waist only (only!) sold for $7,200.

NewsFeed has been left in no doubt that our ancestors 150 years from now will be writing about Kate Middleton’s underwear being sold for a similar sum. And one will still be amused.

Glen Levy is an executive producer at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @glenjl. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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