Saturday, December 30, 2017

Princess Anne & Sir Tim - Christmas Reply (2017)

A lovely reply arrived this week from Princess Anne and her husband, Sir Tim. I wrote to them Christmastmas and their 25th Wedding Anniversary earlier this month.

The letter is the typical reply from Princess Anne's office. It was written by Isabella Ward, Anne's Office Secretary. At the top of the page is Princess Anne's Coat of Arms.


The letter reads:
Dear Miss Daly,  

The Princess Royal & Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence have asked me to thank you for your letter dated 26th November with its kind message for the Christmas season and congratulations on their 25th wedding anniversary.  
Her Royal Highness and Sir Tim are grateful to you for thinking of them at this time of year and send you their best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.  

Yours Sincerely 
Mrs. Isabelle Ward
Office Secretary to HRH The Princess Royal 

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Hereditary Prince Alois & Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein - Christmas Reply (2017)

This is the 2nd year I've written to the Liechtenstein Royals for Christmas. Their reply is the same as last years. A premade card with an embossed coat of arms on top. The "Dear Miss Daly," and "Sincerely," have been written in by a secretary and the card is signed Sophie Liechtenstein & Alois Liechtenstein.

The message is in German, Liechtenstein's official language. It translates to, "Blessed Christmas and all the best in the New Year." 



There has been some question about whether it's a real signature or if the Liechtenstein Royals use a printed on or autopen signature. It is quite clear now that they do use a printed-on signature for at least some of their replies. The signatures on this reply & last Christmas reply are identical. But it is possible the Liechtenstein Royals hand-sign some of the replies, as I have gotten different signatures on other replies.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Queen Sofia of Spain - Birthday Reply (2017)

As you may know, the Spain Royals aren't really good about replying. They always don't reply. And when they do, they often only reply to about half the people who wrote. I have only gotten one other reply from Spain from King Juan Carlos & Queen Sofia last Christmas, despite numerous letters over the years.

So, when I wrote for Queen Sofia's 79th birthday last month, I wasn't expecting a reply.

Then this came in the mail. From the outside, it kind of looks like a piece of junk mail. But when you take a closer look it will sort of blow your mind, and make you feel like you've gone through a time portal.



It's a TELEGRAM!!!! A real-life sent, this century, telegram! I didn't even think telegrams still existed, but here one is. (This is the 1st Royal Telegram I've seen from this century. And my first piece of Royal Mail mailed from the USA.)

With this kind of telegram, the Spanish Palace sent the note electronically to the telegram company. The telegram company sent it to their Orlando, Flordia office, who printed it out and mailed it to me. (I guess this is a cheaper process than just mailing an international letter.)


Translated the message reads:

[Numbers & letters I assume are related to their Telegram Account]Palace of Zarzuela 

Mrs. Gertrude Alexandra Daly [My Address] 

As Chief of Protocol of the House of His Majesty the King & Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Sofia asks me to thank you for your kind words addressed to her on the occasion of her birthday. Warmest Regards, Alfredo Martinez Serrano


So bizarre to be getting a telegram. It lacks the polish of other Royal Replies, but this will definitely be one of my favorites because of its uniqueness.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Prince Charles - Birthday Reply (2017)

Today I received a reply from Prince Charles for the letter I sent for his Birthday earlier this month. The reply is the usual we see from Clarence House, postcard-sized photo, with typed message on back.


The photo was taken by Mario Testino at Clarence House earlier this year. Mario has photographed practically everyone in the royal family, as well as numerous foreign royals. He took William & Kate's official engagements photos and Princess Charlotte's christening photos.

Clarence House had previously released a photo from this session for Duchess Camilla's 70th Birthday.
The message on the back is similar to past year, but they've changed up the wording.


The card reads:
The Prince of Wales greatly appreciated the trouble you took to write on the occasion of his 69th birthday. His Royal Highness was so touched by your thoughtfulness and sends you his heartfelt gratitude and best wishes. 
With the card came a letter from Claudia Spens, Head of the Correspondence Section at Clarence House.


The letter reads: 
Dear Miss Daly,  
The Prince of Wales has asked me to thank you for your letter of 30th October.  
His Royal Highness is most grateful to you for taking the trouble to write as you did; he was particularly touched by your kind words of support and greatly appreciated your good wishes on the occasion of his 69th birthday.  
The Prince of Wales thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Autumn tour and was overwhelmed by the lovely welcome and warm reception he received from the countries he visited. 
His Royal Highness has asked me to send you the enclosed special picture along with his warmest thanks and very best wishes.  
Your sincerely, Claudia Spens
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Princess Elisabeth - Birthday Reply (2017)

Today I received a reply from Belgium. I had written to Princess Elisabeth for her 16th birthday earlier this month. I don't normally write for children's birthdays (except if they are one of my favorite like Prince George or Princess Charlotte). But this was sort of a milestone birthday, being her Sweet 16, and I was getting all emotional thinking about how she's almost an adult. It is hard to believe in 2 short years she will be 18 years old.

The reply is the typical thing you see from the Belgium Royals, a pre-made card and photo (although, they don't always send a photo). 


The message is in French. Translated the message reads:
Royal Palace of Brussels 

The wishes that you were kind enough to send to Her Royal Highness Princess Elisabeth on the occasion of her 16th birthday, have given her great pleasure. 

Their Majesties the King and the Queen thank you with all their heart for this beautiful gesture.
The photo is part of a set released for Princess Elisabeth's birthday. No details on the photo. But given the green glass door and plants, I assume this was taken at the Royal Greenhouses in Laeken.


The Royal Greenhouses in Laeken, is a favorite location for the Belgium Royal Family. The Greenhouses are located in the Royal Park at the Castle of Laeken, which is the Royal Family's home. (The Royal Palace of Brussels is just a working palace.) 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Duchess Camilla - Birthday Reply (2017)

This lovely reply came over the weekend. I had written to Duchess Camilla in July for her 70th birthday and as always she sent a very lovely reply.

The envelope is bigger than a normal letter-sized envelope because the reply is larger. It was sent by registered mail, so I had to be signed for, which I think makes it even more special. When Camilla to send replies that she has personally signed, they are always sent by registered mail.

One of the things I love about mail from Camilla's office (opposed to the normal correspondence section at Clarence House) is they write the address with each line indented. I think that is really nice, especially on a larger envelope.


The back of the envelope features Camilla's C monogram. The green monogram means this reply came from Birkhall, Charles & Camilla's residence in Scotland. Charles & Camilla were still up there on their summer holiday when this reply was sent.

(The Buckingham Palace postmark on the front, just means this reply was processed through the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace.)


A closer look at Camilla's monograms: the green is from Birkhall in Scotland and the blue is from Clarence House in London, England.


In the envelope was Camilla's usual birthday reply: a large photocard, with typed message on the back. This is double the size the normal photo replies we see from Clarence House.

The photo is from Charles & Camilla's tour of Europe earlier this year. This photo was taken at the Hofburg Palace on April 5 in Vienna, Austria. Hofburg Palace is the official residence and office of the President of Austria.


Camilla changes up the message on the back of the card every year. And I like that she makes them a little witty. The card has been hand-signed & personalized by Camilla.


The card reads:
Dear Gertrude,  
I can't beleive that 70 years have passed so quickly! Thank you very much for remembering my birthday.  
With best wishes, 
Camilla

This reply came just over 3.5 months after I had written, which is a longer wait time than usual, but not too uncommon. I have had longer response times from Clarence House. And of course, I'm quite willing to wait a while for such a lovely reply.

Our 2017 Guide to Writing to the Royal for Christmas will be out on Nov 1st.

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Monday, October 16, 2017

Prince Harry - Birthday Reply (2017)

I received a reply today from the UK. I had written to Prince Harry last month for his 33rd Birthday. I got a letter instead of the usual photo reply, which happened last year as well.


The letter reads:
Dear Miss Daly, 
Prince Harry has asked me to thank you for your incredibly thoughtful letter of 13th September.  
His Royal Highness was immensely touched by your kind words of support and he greatly appreciated the generous nature of your comments regarding the work he undertakes both with mental health charities and the Invictus Games Foundation.  
Although unable to reply to you presonally, Prince Harry was most greteful that you should take the trouble to write and has asked me to send you his warmst thanks for your letter and his sincerest best wishes.
Yours Sincerely,
Claudia Spens
It's always nice to get a thoughtful letter, mentioning specific things I wrote about.

Prince William & Duchess Kate - 3rd Pregnancy Reply (2017)

I had written to the Cambridges last month to congratulate them on the wonderful news that they are expecting their 3rd child! The reply is their usual postcard size photo with typed message on the back.


The photo is from a year ago on the Cambridge's Tour of Canada. It is the same photo as they used in their 2016 Christmas reply, except the Christmas reply did not have a white border.


The message reads:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were touched by your kind words following the happy news that they are expecting their third child. It really was most thoughtful of you and Their Royal Highnesses send you their warmest thanks and best wishes. 
The message is the same as their reply for the announcement of their 2nd pregnancy, except for the obvious change of 2nd child to 3rd.

I can't wait for the new little Cambridge Addition!!!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Queen Paola of Belgium - 80th Birthday Reply (2017)

I had written to Queen Paola at the end of August for her 80th birthday on September 11th.

This reply came today, a month after her birthday. It is a flat card. On one side is a copy of a handwritten note. On the other side is a picture.


The message is in French, one of Belgium's official languages. Roughly translated the note says:
"Belvedére (Castle) 
I want to thank you personally for the well-wishes you have sent on the occasion of my 80th birthday and tell you they have touched me very deeply.  
Paola   
Sept. 2017"
It's common for Queen Paola to write a hand-written message, that is then copied and printed on reply cards. This allows her to send a very lovely, personal response without having to hand-write every single reply.


On the front of the card is a picture from Queen Paola's 80th birthday celebrations in June. The Royal Family and guests gathered for a special 80th birthday musical performance in support of three of Paola's charities: the Queen Paola Foundation, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, and Missing Children Europe.

The photo is a nice size. It about as big as two of the typical photo replies from the Cambridges.


 I have numbered the Royals in order of the family tree:
  • Queen Paola (1) & King Albert (2)
    • King Philippe (3) & Queen Mathilde (4)
      • Princess Elisabeth (5)
      • Prince Gabriel (6)
      • Prince Emmanuel (7)
      • Princess Eléonore (8)
    • Princess Astrid (9) & Prince Lorenz (10)
      • Prince Amedeo (11) & Archduchess Elizabetta (12)
        • Archduchess Anna (13)
      • Princess Maria Laura (did not attend)
      • Prince Joachim (14)
      • Princess Luisa Maria (15)
      • Princess Laetitia Maria (16)
    • Prince Laurent (arrived late, not pictured) & Princess Claire (17)
      • Princess Louise (18)
      • Prince Nicolas & Prince Aymeric (19, one of them is behind Queen Paola)
In my letter for Queen Paola's birthday, I also sent my condolences for the death of her brother, Don Antonello Ruffo di Calabria, who passed away on August 24th.

I received a 2nd reply thanking me for sending my condolences. This reply arrived about a week and a half before the birthday reply.

The reply came in a very lovely envelope, which has a purple lining on the inside. Not all of Queen Paola's replies come in such a lovely envelope. 


Inside was a note from Queen Paola, thanking me for sending my condolences for the death of her brother.


The message is in again French and translates to:
Belvédère (Castle) 
September 2017 
Her Majesty Queen Paola was very touched by the expressions of sympathy you have shown following the death of her brother, Don Antonello Ruffo di Calabria, and expresses her sincere thanks.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Prince William - Birthday Reply (2017)

Another piece of Royal Mail arrived earlier this week! This time from the UK. 

The envelope is standard for the UK Royals. What is interesting is this envelope has two postmarks. 

The red postmark is the iconic one from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace. This is where all of the London Royal office's have their mail franked (i.e. stamped with postage and postmark). 


The black postmark was added when the mail was taken to the Mount Pleasant Post Office in London. The postmarks reads: "Royal Mail proudly supports 30 years of Payroll Giving." This was a special week only (July 10-15th) postmark to celebrate the 30th anniversary. 

 "Payroll Giving allows employees to give to charity straight from their wages or pension without paying tax on it. [...] Over the years, Royal Mail employees have raised over £58 million supporting over 1,400 charities." Royal Mail in press releases on the 30th Anniversary Postmark 


Inside the envelope is a reply to the letter I sent to Prince William for his birthday. I received both the typical postcard size photo and a letter. 

The letter is written by Claudia Spens, who is head of the correspondence section at Clarence House. The stationary says Kensington Palace, which is the name of William, Kate & Harry's office. But their mail from the public is handled by Clarence House. 

The letter is dated June 29th, but the envelope is postmarked July 11th, two weeks later. So, this was either mistaken dated, or it accidentally sat around for 2 weeks, which happens. Prince Andrew's office is particularly prone to letting stuff sit around for a few days before being sent out.  


The letter says:
Dear Miss Daly, 
The Duke of Cambridge has asked me to thank you for your thoughtful letter of 5th June.  
His Royal Highness is grateful to you for your kinds words of support regarding his relocation to London and he appreciated the generous nature of your comments regarding the work he undertakes as part of his official duty as a member of The Royal Family.  
Although unable to reply personally, The Duke of Cambridge was touched that you should take the trouble to write as you did, and has asked me to send you his wamest thanks and sincerest best wishes.  

Yours Sincerely,  
Claudia Spens
I always find it very touching to get a personal letter in reply. It's clear Miss Spens had read my letter.

This also mark's the 1st anniversary of the Black Kensington Palace Stationary. I first saw it with  William's birthday reply last year. I'm not a huge fan, but it is likely much easier on Clarence House to have one stationary for William, Kate and Harry, then 3 personal ones. I have even seen letters from the Private Secretaries at Kensington Palace use this black stationery. 

This reply came a little later than last years, but 3 months earlier than 2015's. So a good response time.

The photo card is the normal size, but it what is interesting is it has a white border around the picture. We've seen this before with Camilla's large photo cards, and more recently on the normal size Christmas reply from Charles & Camilla. I understand why on the large cards you want a bit of a border, and it works well. But on such a small picture as this, I don't see why it is needed.



The photo was taken in April by Norman Jean Roy for British GQ. You can read Prince William's British GQ interview here.


The back of the card has the same sort of message as usual. But it is nice to see new wording. I particularly like it when the card mentions which birthday. Because it doesn't have a date on it, it could be hard a few years from now to just look at the picture and tell which birthday this was from. 


The card says:
The Duke of Cambridge greatly appreciated the kind message you sent on the occasion of his 35th birthday. 

His Royal Highness is touched you took the trouble to do this and sends his warmest thanks and best wishes. 

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Condolences Reply for Prince Richard von Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg (2017)

I received a reply from Germany today. Prince Richard von Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg passed away in March at age 82. I had written to his family, to express my condolences. 

Prince Richard was married to Princess Benedikte of Denmark (Queen Margrethe's sister). So, he was both an extended member of the Denmark Royal Family, as well as the head of Royal Family of the former monarchy of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg.

This is the first reply I have gotten from a former monarchy. Although I will file it under Denmark in my collection. 


The envelope features a picture of the Castle of Berleburg, which is the family's residence. Prince Richard passed away at the castle, and his funeral was held at the castle church. 

The reply is a lovely tri-fold card.


The front of the card features a lovely picture of Richard. The picture was taken in the forest near the family home. 


The back of the card features Prince Richard's coat of arms, date of birth & death, and his full name: 

Richard Casimir Karl August Robert Konstantin
Prince von Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg,
6th ruler of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg,
Count of Sayn, Lord of Homburg, Vallendar,
Neumagen and Neuenhemsbach

29th October 1934 - 13th March 2017

The inside has a message from his wife and children in 3 languages: English, German and Danish. 


The message reads: 
Your comforting words, the beautifal wreaths and flowers have touched and supported us greately in our [grief] over my husband's and or father's passing. We thank you wholeheartedly for your warm sympathy. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

Prince Edward - Birthday Reply (2017)

This is my new favorite Royal Reply! I'm kind of freaking out over it.

The reply is from Prince Edward, for the Birthday letter I wrote earlier this month. Many of you know the Wessexs hardly ever send a reply. I always tell people not to expect anything from them. So, I was definitely surprised by this. I started writing letters to the Royals in 2014, and have written to the Wessexs a number of times over the years. This is my very first reply from them.

The reply came from Bagshot Park, which is where the Wessexs live and have their offices. You will notice the postmark on the envelope is different than the letters that come from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, etc. This is because their mail is handled by a different post office.



The envelope is handwritten. This is the 2nd time I've ever received a handwritten envelope. So it's very special. On the back of the envelope is the Wessexs' green cypher with Bagshot Park written underneath.

Inside is a letter. It is handwritten by Tim Roberts, who is Edward and Sophie's private secretary. It's a very personal letter and you can tell he is responding to what I said in my letter. It is one piece of paper written front and back. 

The green cypher featured the couples combined coat of arms (which is made up of Prince Edward's and the Rhys-Jones Family coat of arms).



The letter reads:
Bagshot Park 
21 March 2017 

Dear Miss Daly 

Thank you very much for your recent letter to His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, wishing him a Happy Birthday.  

His Royal Highness spent the day quietly at home with his family. Thank you too for your comments in respect of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and the work which His Royal Highness undertakes in support of the Award, both in the UK and in the many countries around the world where the Award operates. His Royal Highness is passionate about helping young people to discover themselves and to be the best that they can be and the Award is a fantastic way of enabling this.  

Thank you again for taking the time to write to His Royal Highness and The Earl sends his best wishes. 

Yours Sincerely,
Tim Roberts

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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Grand Duke Jean - Birthday/ Illness Reply (2017)

A lovely reply came over the weekend from Luxembourg. I had written to Grand Duke Jean at the end of December to wish him a Happy 96th Birthday and a speedy recovery. Grand Duke Jean had been hospitalized around Christmas & New Years with Bronchitis. Luckily, he didn't have to spend his birthday in the Hospital.

Grand Duke Jean has been doing well since then and has even been well enough to do an official engagement last month.


The card reads:
Château de Fischbach
Luxembourg 
February 2017
His Royal Highness Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg thanks you for the kind recovery and birthday wishes. Your attention was much appreciated. 
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Duchess Kate - Birthday Reply (2017)

A reply arrived today from Duchess Kate for the birthday letter I sent her. It the typical reply from the Cambridges. It is nice to see they finally changed up Kate's Birthday reply picture (previously they had used a picture from 2013). The new picture is from the Canada Tour last year.


The message on the back of the card is the same as previous years.


The card says:
The Duchess of Cambridge was touched that you took the trouble to write as you did on the occasion of her birthday.  
It really was most thoughtful of you and Her Royal Highness sends you her warmest thanks and best wishes. 

Princess Caroline of Monaco - Birthday Reply (2017)

A lovely reply arrived today from Princess Caroline of Monaco for the letter I sent last month for her 60th Birthday! Princess Caroline is Prince Albert's sister.

This is the smallest piece of Royal Mail I have ever received. It came in a cute little envelope, which you can see compared the Cambridges' usual envelope for their photo replies.


The postmark reads: "Carabiniers du Prince - Bidentenaire 1817-2017" which translates to "Carabiniers of the Prince - Bicentennial 1817-2017" or "Palace Guards - Bicentennial 1817-2017". The Carabiniers is a military division in Monaco that protects the Sovereign and the Prince's Palace. They are commonly called the Palace Guards and they celebrate their 200th Anniversary this year, on December 8th.

This postmark coincides with Palace Guards' celebration of their Patron Saint on 20 January, Saint Sebastian's Day.

The stamp is just the classic overseas stamp of Prince Albert. It was originally published in 2006 and is still in print.

Inside is a very lovely card. As I said the smallest piece of Royal Mail I have ever received.

This is 1st reply I've gotten to Caroline. I did write for her birthday last year, but did not get a reply.



The card says:
Palace of Monaco
H.R.H. The Princess of Hanover would like to thank you for your kind wishes which were much appreciated. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Queen Margrethe & Prince Henrik of Denmark - Christmas Reply (2016)

Yet another Christmas Reply! Christmas is one of my favorite times to write to the Royals. Christmas replies are always very lovely replies, and it is great getting so much royal mail in January,.... but February can try my patience. It's always an interesting month. There are some replies I know I will get but haven't yet. Some I know not to expect anything from. And then there are those uncertainties, where they may or may not reply or where other people got a reply, but I'm not sure I will.

I'm not sure exactly how many more Christmas Replies to expect. But I think 2 or 3 more. Usually, it takes to the end of February to get them all.

This reply is from Queen Margrethe and Prince Henrik of Denmark!  

I really liked the back of this envelope. It has a very lovely edging. Margrethe and Henrik's are the only envelopes I've seen to have edging.

For someone who spends a lot of time talking about envelopes and such, I must admit I didn't notice this last year on their Christmas reply envelope. But in my defense, that was the 1st time I had gotten a reply from Margrethe and Henrik, so I was focusing more on the letter.


Inside is a letter, written by the Queen's personal assistant, Ingelise Tiedel. It's almost exactly the same as last year's. The big difference is that Prince Henrik is no longer called the Prince Consort. He dropped that title last year when he retired from full-time royal duties. 


The letters says:
Miss Gertrude Daly (My Address)
Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness Prince Henrik have asked me to thank you for your kind letter, which Her Majesty and His Royal Highness appreciated very much..  

Yours sincerely,  
Ingelise Riedel Personal assistant to Her Majesty the Queen
Not too much to say about the letter. They made a little typo at the end of the letter, and put two periods. It amuses me. 



I do want to point out last year, Margrethe and Henrik's thank you note was the 1st Christmas reply I received (arrived Dec 16th). And this year it is one of the last. I had sent my letters at about the same time in November both years. That just shows you replies don't come consistently each year. I'm into my 3rd year writing and can say response times each year vary greatly. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Prince Liam of Luxembourg - Birth Reply (2016)

A lovely reply arrived yesterday from Luxembourg. 

I had written to Prince Felix and Princess Claire in late November to congratulate the couple on the birth of their son, Prince Liam. 


The card reads:

Their Royal Highness Prince Felix and Princess Claire appreciated your kind wishes for the birth of Prince Liam and send you their sincere thanks.  
Luxembourg, January 2017 

Not much to say about the reply. But one thing I found very interesting about this reply is the font. I guess I'm just really used to Royals always sending pretty identical replies. So it is very interesting to see the Luxembourg Royals mix it up with different fonts, colors, and alignments. 





King Willem-Alexander & Queen Máxima - Christmas Reply (2016)

A reply arrived this last week from the Netherlands. I had written to King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima in early December to wish them a very Merry Christmas!

They sent a very lovely card in reply. The card is the same as their Christmas Card from last year. The big difference is this year I got the card in English, instead of Dutch. And the picture on the front is different. 



The inside of the card reads: 
Their Majesties The King and Queen of the Netherlands thank you, on behalf of the entire royal family, for your kind christmas greetings and send you their very best wishes for the year ahead. 
Noordeinde Palace 
The Hague 
This card was produced by Belarto in the Netherlands to raise money for UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). This year and last year's card come from the same Christmas Card set, called "Classic Winter Paintings." The Christmas cards are still available for sale from UNICEF

It's really great to see the couple using their Christmas Card to support such a great cause. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima have been long supporters of UNICEF and the United Nations. Both of them have sat on various advisory boards for the UN.

Queen Máxima is currently a United Nations Secretary General’s Special Advocate. She is working with their Inclusive Finance for Development program, which helps and encourages countries to create financial programs, such as savings accounts, insurance, loans.

What was also interesting is this card was sent to my old address, which means The Netherlands also has a system where they store people's address when they write. 

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Countess Sophie - DofE Challange Email (2017)

This was a big surprise when I opened my inbox last week and found an email from the Countess of Wessex. I had donated to Countess Sophie's Duke of Edinburgh's Diamond Challenge's Just Giving Page back in September. 

Countess Sophie had biked 445 miles from the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in support of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Diamond Anniversary Appeal.


This email was sent out to all those who donated to her Just Giving Page. Of the £ 307,491 donated, only 8% (£281,804.00
) of that came from online donations on her Just Giving Page. 


The email reads:
It is hard to believe it is February 2017 and my Diamond Cycle Challenge is now a distant yet wonderful memory. I would like to say a huge thank you to you for supporting me throughout my challenge, championing my cause and helping me to raise £ 307,491 for The Duke of Edinburgh's Award. I may have completed my challenge, but for many young people, life is one big challenge. I believe that every young person should have the opportunity to be the best that they can be and the money and awareness you have helped me raise will do just that!

My heartfelt thanks, Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

The email is very interesting because (1) it the first Royal Email I've gotten, and (2) I've sent a number of letters to the Wessexs over the years, including to congratulate Sophie on completing her DofE Challenge, and never got a reply.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

King Juan Carlos & Queen Sofia of Spain - Christmas Reply (2016)

I don't like to pick favorites, but this is one of my favorite recent replies. 

WHY? Because this is my first reply from Spain!!! 

First replies are very exciting! I'm always very intrigued by how they respond, what the reply looks like, the envelope, etc. (Sorry, I always get really nerdy about envelopes!) This is extra special because I've written to the Spain Royals a handful of times since 2015, and no response, until today! I had wondered if one would ever come. (Although I had only ever written to King Felipe and Queen Letizia before this.)

This reply is from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. They are King Felipe's parents. King Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014.

Quite easy to tell the reply is from Spain by the envelope. They are after all the only Current European Monarchy whose official language is Spanish.

Correos Espana is Spain's national postal service. The postmark with the date reads "E.O. Jefatura de Estado, Madrid." Not sure what E.O. stands for, but the rest says Head of State, Madrid.

The postmark on the right, "Paquete Azul, Paquete a Domicilio" (Package Blue, Package at Home), is a marking for the Correos service they used.

What is very interesting is the Blue Stamp "Casa De S.M. El Rey - Protocolo" (Household of H.M. The King - Protocol) is printed on, not actually stamped.



The letter is written by Alfanso Sanz Portoles, Secretary-General of King Juan Carlos's Household. And is sent from the Palace of Zarzuela, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia's home.


Translated the message reads:
Household of HM The King
Secretary-General of HM King Juan Carlos
Palace of  Zarzuela 
18th January 2017

Ms. Gertrude Alexandra Daly  
[My Address] 

From Secretary-General of H.M. King Juan Carlos 

Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia charged me, in their name, to send their most sincere gratefulness for the kind greeting that you sent to them on the occasion of Christmas and New Year, as well as your best wishes for 2017.
I take the opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous year. 

Alfanso Sanz Portoles




It's a very lovely reply. And I am very excited to add a new section to my binders for Spain, and of course to add the 1st Spain reply on our blog!

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