King Edward VII jewellery stolen in Sudeley Castle raid

Items stolen in raidImage copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption Items stolen included an 18th century presentation gold box and a Faberge gold cigarette case set

Jewellery which King Edward VII gave to his mistress has been stolen in a burglary at a 15th Century castle.

Thieves broke into the exhibition area of Sudeley Castle in Winchcombe in the early hours of 8 September.

Four burglars were captured on CCTV approaching the stately home with a chair, sledgehammer and a large garden or builder’s bag.

The burglary took place a week before a 25kg toilet made of 18-carat gold was stolen from Blenheim Palace.

Items stolen from the castle included an 18th century presentation gold box, with a miniature of Edward VII set in diamonds.

The thieves also stole a Faberge gold cigarette case set and a Cartier watch monogrammed AK (Alice Keppel) 1910.

‘Beautiful artefacts’

The collection was created by Lord Ashcombe, the husband of the castle’s owner Lady Ashcombe, and grandson of Alice Keppel.

Ms Keppel was a British society hostess who became the mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales – the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

Their relationship continued when he became king and ended with his death.

Lady Ashcombe said she was “saddened” by the raid.

She added: “There were beautiful artefacts on display for everyone to enjoy and were very precious to me personally.”

Image copyright Geograph
Image caption Thieves broke into the exhibition area of the 15th century castle in Winchcombe on 8 September

The raiders smashed a display case before leaving with several items in a 4×4 vehicle.

Det Sup Steve Bean said: “Clearly the stolen items are very distinctive and have a great deal of historical as well as financial value.

“They should be easy to identify and if anyone is aware of them being offered for sale I would urge them to report it to police as soon as possible.”

A reward of £10,000 is being offered by insurers for the return of the items.

The 15th century castle is the only private castle in England to have a queen buried in the grounds.

Queen Katherine Parr, the last wife of King Henry VIII, lived and died in the castle.

A gang broke into Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, last week and stole the working gold toilet, which was part of an art exhibition.

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