Collectors paid thousands of dollars Saturday for letters from British royalty to a trusted servant, including a note from the late Queen Mother Elizabeth requesting the aide to pack bottles of gin and Dubonnet for an outing "in case it is needed."

The undated note sold for $32,000 at an auction of mementoes belonging to royal servant William Tallon.

Tallon, nicknamed "Backstairs Billy" by the press, joined the royal household at age 15 and served the family for 51 years, rising to become the queen mother's steward and Page of the Backstairs. He died in November, aged 72.