Reported in the News Letter on Sepetember 12, 1927: King and Queen prove to be impressive shopkeepers


Five thousand people at Balmoral yesterday watched the King and Queen [King George V and Queen Mary] conduct the most amazingly successful “shop” that has ever been seen.

Customers flung down Treasury notes and refused to wait for change, and more business was done in three hours than any shopkeeper has ever done before.

It was the first time in history that a Queen has been “sold out” of soap, and a King of England has stood for hours selling flowers, “talking shop” with customers, and giving change with the speed and accuracy of a practised shopman.

The Royal stalls were in the grounds of Balmoral Castle, where a fete was being held to liquidate the debt on Crathie Hall, opened by Lord Shaftesbury last year.

This was he first time that Balmoral Castle had been opened to the public during the stay there of the King and Queen.

The Queen, in a grey dress and pink hat, sold dolls, bags, cushions and soap. In Highland dress, with sleeves rolled up, and coat open, the King did a roaring trade in flowers, white heather (which he sold out), and other things.

The crowd became so pressing at one stage that police had to be summoned from other parts of the ground to make a human barrier through which the customers passed.

The Queen proved an extremely smart saleswoman. One customer wanted soap.

“Any more soap?” called the Queen. The next instant she exclaimed: “No, we are out of soap, but we have perfume.”