A FORMER boxer has sold the George Medal he was awarded for saving Princess Anne from kidnap for £50,000 — more than double its estimate.
Ronnie Russell, 72, auctioned it to pay for his funeral and said he was “absolutely blown away” by the price paid by a private collector.
Ronnie, of Bristol, was a young ex-heavyweight boxer when he stepped in to floor a gunman targeting Anne near Buckingham Palace in 1974.
Earlier this week, he said he was selling it to pay for his funeral after being struck by several health problems.
But now Mr Russell said the extra cash has given him fresh opportunities to do things he never thought he could.
Auctioneer, Oliver Pepys, Associate Director, Dix Noonan Webb noted: “Ronnie Russell displayed an outstanding act of gallantry, and it is fitting that his George Medal achieved such a fantastic price at today’s auction – a price that not only reflects the wonderful story of courage behind the medal, but also shows how strong the market for medals currently is.”
The George Medal is the second highest civilian award for gallantry with the highest being the George Cross.
Ronnie was awarded the George Medal for bravery by the Queen who told him: “The medal is from the Queen, but I want to thank you as Anne’s mother.”
Ronnie is currently suffering with the rare inflammatory Adult Onset Stills disease which destroys joints and means he is taking high doses of medication.
He has also battled cancer and several strokes, leaving him in precarious health.
The former bodyguard said: “It will give me, or should give me, the relief I will be able to pay for my own funeral. I am very sad to be doing this.
"I still believe that members of the royal family lives are more important than my own. Dying for them was fine by me.”
The silver medal has a portrait of the Queen’s head on one side and a scene showing St George Slaying a dragon on the other.
It is one of only 600 George Medals awarded since World War Two.
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