Ronnie Russell was given the George Medal -- Britain''s highest civilian award for bravery -- for punching assailant Ian Bell twice in the head when he tried to seize Princess Anne in 1974.
The burly former fighter, 72, put the award up for sale to pay for funeral costs after falling ill.
The medal had been expected to fetch up to 20,000 pounds when it went under the hammer at London auction house Dix Noonan Webb. But a private collector bought it for 50,000 pounds.
"For something I thought that I would never sell, I never believed it would sell for this amount," Russell said after the sale.
"I am absolutely blown away with this price and it gives me opportunities to do things that I never thought we could."
The queen told Russell when he received the award: "The medal is from the Queen but I want to thank you as Anne''s mother."
The medal was sold with other items, including a letter from Downing Street and the head of the Metropolitan Police, and a telegram from Anne, who was aged 23 at the time.
Russell was working at a central London cleaning company when Ball blocked the princess'' car as it drove along the Mall towards Buckingham Palace on the evening of March 20, 1974.
He fired shots through the back window. Russell rushed to help when he realised what was happening.
He recalled the princess telling Ball, "Just go away and don''t be such a silly man" as he tried to drag her from the vehicle, which was also carrying her then-husband Mark Phillips.
"I hit him (Ball) as hard as I could -- if he had been a tree he would have fallen over -- and he was flat on the floor face down," Russell said.
Neither Anne or her husband were injured but her personal detective, chauffeur, a police officer and a journalist were shot by Ball, who was carrying two pistols.
A judge later ordered him to be sent to a psychiatric unit. (AFP) SCY
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI