Police investigation after books signed by royal family stolen from Portsmouth club

Prince Edward signed the visitors book, which has now been stolen, earlier this year. Picture: Ross Young Corporate Photographers
Prince Edward signed the visitors book, which has now been stolen, earlier this year. Picture: Ross Young Corporate Photographers
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POLICE are investigating after a pair of books dating back to the 1800s which were signed by Queen Victoria have been stolen.

The books have been taken from the Royal Maritime Club in Queen Street, Portsmouth.

They contain the signatures of royals dating back to the 1800s.

It includes King George V and Queen Victoria.

Most recently, Prince Edward signed the books at the club a matter of weeks ago.

John Alderson is the general manager at the club and said he desperately wants the books to be returned.

He said: ‘We aren’t happy at all.

‘It’s part of the club’s heritage and history dating back to the 1800s.

‘There are signatures from the very early days in the history of this charity organisation that’s built around the navy and seafarers of this city.

‘The books have Queen Victoria’s and George V’s signatures, right up to today’s royals and sea lords and other people.

‘It’s a really great loss for the club.

‘They were only brought out on special occasions like with visiting dignitaries.’

The books are reported to have been stolen sometime between Friday, October 17 and Wednesday, October 22.

Mr Alderson added the books mean a lot to the club itself.

‘It’s the historic value of the books for the history of the club and what the club stands for that is the most important thing,’ he said.

‘The sentimental value of them far outweighs the cost.’

Investigating officer PC Dan McGarrigle said: ‘These books are extremely rare; they have a high sentimental and historic value to the Royal Maritime Club.

‘It is possible that these books would have been offered to a collector.

‘We’ve pursued several other lines of enquiry over the past fortnight, and are now in a position to release details with a wider appeal for more information.’

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact PC Dan McGarrigle at Portsmouth Central police station by phoning 101.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.