1. ITV Report

Thai princess snaps up antique bargains

Princess Consort Srirasmi of Thailand Photo: PA

It was an eight hour shopping spree that left a Thai princess £25,000 poorer and shelves in an Essex antiques centre bare.

The royal visit came as a surprise to dealers at the Battlesbridge Antiques Centre near Wickford.

Princess Consort Srirasmi of Thailand visited the centre, accompanied by the Thai ambassador, 15 assistants and the royal physician.

There had been no prior warning of the royal visit, just a call two months ago to say some VIPs might drop by some time in the future.

Dealers said the princess just chose things that took her fancy, anything from Doulton ladies down to tea sets, mostly very decorative items and masses of them.

She was looking at a lot of these pieces, old Tupton wear, she then went on to look at another few pieces, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert… in the end she bought in excess of 200 pieces from this shop, spent around £2,500."

– Jon Bedford, Antiques dealer

The shops stayed open until half past eight, when the princess and her entourage swept out of Battlesbridge in blacked out limousines…

It may come as a surprise, but out of the thousand or so items bought by the princess, most were priced at around 10 to 40 pounds."

An indication perhaps that in today's climate, even a princess likes a bargain.

Shelagh Walker in front of empty cupboards after Thai princess spent 20k at Battlesbridge Antiques Centre Credit: ITV Anglia