A Wrexham man has amassed an impressive royal collection of over 1,000 treasures after decades of collecting. 

The home of 73-year-old Paul Smith is filled with interesting and significant items that make up British Royal history. 

The collector's interest began in 1984 when he was working at a maximum security prison in Wolverhampton.

He said: "It was a very boring job. I was sitting on the landing doing a numerical crossword and the crossword asked for the year of birth of Henry the 8th."

Not knowing the answer to this question Mr Smith visited the prison library, which launched his long-lasting curiosity in the history of the Royal family.

The Leader: Paul Smith Royal CollectorPaul Smith Royal Collector (Image: The Leader - Newsquest)

Mr Smith now has a grand collection of regal finds and also believes he may have the largest collection of Royal photographs in Britain, with between 10-20,000 prints. 

The majority of Mr Smith's collection was discovered in charity shops or antique stores which he has spent the last almost 40 years scouring. 

His collection began with purchasing a copy of the Illustrated London News, of which he now has over 1,000 copies.

The former Royal Marine, who was born in South Wales, shared his favourite find, which is a bronze medal dating back to The Great Exhibition of 1851. 

Despite the medal now being worth around £1,000, Mr Smith paid just 50p for it.

Before moving to Wrexham, Mr Smith had the pleasure of giving several talks and putting on displays on his Royal Collection.

Being a 'Royal Vexillologist' he often put displays of his large flag collections in venues across Wolverhampton and surrounding areas. 

Mr Smith also displayed his collections at The Cefn Mawr and District Museum over a three month exhibition in 2018.

However, Mr Smith's collection of work has had to be put on hold over the past four years after his wife, Christine Smith, was diagnosed with cancer.

Mr Smith said: "My duty was to her care, and my 'hobby' was placed on the back burner in order for me to look after my beloved wife."

After years of extensive treatment and care Christine sadly passed away on December 4, 2022. 

In an effort to cope with her loss, Mr Smith's family and friends have encouraged him to try to get back into his hobby.

Mr Smith said: "I am sure Chris would have loved me taking this up again.

"Even when I am up here I think about her, but it is something that I have got to do as I can't just sit and do nothing.

"If I can help anybody by giving them an interest in any way shape or form, that is what I want to do."

Mr Smith hopes to find others in Wrexham that share an interest in the monarchy and Royal history. 

He added: "My greatest dislike about my collection is that nobody ever sees it, it's in here but nobody ever looks at it. 

"If I ever won the lottery I would buy a shop or a building and I would make it a Royal museum in North Wales."

With the coronation looming, Mr Smith has been asked to put on a display at his church, All Saints on Poyser Street in Wrexham, for Coronation weekend. 

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The church will be decorated after the Sunday service on May 7 for the coronation party on May 8 at the church and church hall.

The display will include over 40 flags ranging from 1066 William the Conqueror up to date as well as Royal Memorabilia from Mr Smith's impressive collection.

Included in the display will be two royal banners from the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth that hung in Westminister Abbey on June 2, 1953. 

The upcoming coronation is particularly significant for Mr Smith, as he fondly remembers the coronation of the Queen at just four years old. 

He said: "I can remember being so excited and seeing fireworks for the first time."

Mr Smith's speciality is items relating to the coronations, including the first piece of pressed glass that ever came out which was for Queen Victoria's coronation in 1837. 

Mr Smith shares his extraordinary collection with his family, including his three grand-children, who he boasts are fonts of all knowledge when it comes to royal history. 

If anyone would like to contact Paul Smith about his collection or interest in the Royal family please contact labradene@hotmai.com