Margaret Tyler, one of the largest collectors of royal memorabilia in the United Kingdom, had thousands of commemorative pictures and cups of tea in her London home.
On the eve of the platinum jubilee to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II on the throne on Thursday, the 78-year-old pensioner wearing a Union Jack jacket showed off his collection, which fills the ground floor of his home in the northwestern suburb of Wembley.
“I think it’s amazing that he’s been on the throne for 70 years. One thing that bothers me is that Prince Philip isn’t here,” said Tyler, keeping an eye on the shelves dedicated to the queen’s husband, who died last year at the age of 99. .
The exterior of the house sets the tone: a front door guarded by GNOME, two queen-inspired gardens, a replica of the royal guard wearing a bear’s leather hat, and a pendant in Union Jack’s red, white and blue.
Inside, Tyler has collected more than 12,000 royalty-themed items in the last 40 years, from tea cups containing pictures of all members of the royal family to posters, framed pictures, books, statues, and even slippers and ashtrays.
“If I like it, I buy it,” she says. So much so that her children have stopped her from going to the internet in the hope of reducing her expenses.
“I don’t know if I have to go to the library,” he jokes for the Internet. “They won’t know.”
When he started collecting, Tyler gave him a house for his hobby and forbade his four children to enter.
“They weren’t interested in being truthful,” he admits.
The collection grew erratically, and as her children became adults and left home, she used their bedrooms to store more things.
Even her walls were torn down and an extension was created to create a “Diana Room” dedicated entirely to Prince Charles’s first wife, Tyler’s beloved princess.
She has a portrait of “Lady D” painted on the ceiling by an American artist.
“It was a very difficult task because you always put your hand up like that. So you have to rest it,” he said.
Despite spending so much time collecting royal souvenirs, Tyler does not miss the opportunity to visit the royal family.
For this reason, at the age of 19, he left rural Herefordshire in the west of England and moved to London, near Buckingham Palace.
Since then he has met the queen four times.
“I once gave him a big cake in the shape of a crown,” he says with indomitable pride.
‘Happy, Joyful Times’
Tyler’s regal passion is relentless.
She hopes the jubilee will be a success for Rani, who was very popular at the age of 96 despite health concerns, family scandals and the death of her husband.
“My best wishes to the Queen are to spend a happy, joyous time together with her family … I hope she gets some kind of rest time because she has worked so hard,” Tyler said.
Despite her grief over the Queen’s grandson Harry and his wife Meghan leaving official royal responsibilities to live in California, Tyler is glad they will travel to London for this week’s celebrations.
“It’s amazing they’re coming to the jubilee. You know, they didn’t want to miss this time, did they?” He says.
Like many Brits, Tyler is eagerly awaiting the anniversary.
But instead of traveling to London, she will follow the festival home on television with friends, as she will have to look after her loved ones who have mobility problems.
“On TV, I can see it again in the evening replay when everyone is gone,” he says with a smile.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)