Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Princess Anne - Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived today from the UK. I had written to Princess Anne back in August to wish her a happy birthday.

The envelope is the usual from the British Royals.


The back of the envelope features Princess Anne's coat of arms.


The letter is pretty much the same as Princess Anne's past birthday replies. It is written by Isabella Ward, Anne's Office Secretary.



The letter reads:
Buckingham Palace

9th September 2019
Dear Miss Daly,  
The Princess Royal has asked me to thank you for your recent letter sent from the United States with it's kind and supportive message wishing her a happy birthday. Her Royal Highness is touched that you had thought to write to her and sends you her best wishes for the future. 
 Yours Sincerely,   
Mrs. Isabella Ward 
Office Secretary to HRH The Princess Royal 
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Sunday, September 15, 2019

20th Anniversary of Princess Diana's Death Reply (2017)

This reply arrived in 2017. I don't think I ever wrote a blog post about it. I had written to Prince William & Prince Harry in August 2017, to mark the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death.

There have been a few changes since then. The envelope is the usual from the British Royals, but this features the old postmark with the old W7047 PPI number.

It is interesting to note that this reply was sent exactly 2 years ago on Prince Harry's 33rd birthday.


The back of the envelope features the black crown/Kensington Palace. This is still currently being used by both the Cambridges and Sussexs. But the Sussexs are expected to update their stationery soon to reflect their office move to Buckingham Palace.


Inside is a letter from Claudia Spens, who is head of the correspondence section at Clarence House. This stationery is still used by the Cambridges and Sussexs. But you will note the "From" line says "The Office of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Prince Henry of Wales."



The letter reads:
Dear Miss Daly,  
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have asked me to thank you for your very kind letter of 23rd August.  
Their Royal Highnesses are touched that you took the trouble to write as you did about their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales and greatly appreciated the warm and generous sentiments you have expressed.  
The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry have asked me to send you their sincerest thanks and very best wishes. 
Yours sincerely,  

Claudia Spens

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

King Albert & Queen Paola of Belgium - 60th Wedding Anniversary Reply

A lovely reply arrived today from Belgium. I had written to King Albert & Queen Paola for their 60th wedding anniversary in July.

The envelope is pretty usual from the Belgium Royals, although they have a lot of different versions. This one has a purple crown on the front and nothing on the back.



Inside is a flat card with a photo on the front and message on the back.



The photo was taken in July during the couple's anniversary celebration. This reminds me of Queen Paola's 80th birthday reply, which also featured a lovely family photo. 



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 ElĂ©onore (8)
    • Princess Astrid (9) & Prince Lorenz (10)
      • Prince Amedeo (11) & Princess Elisabetta (12)
        • Archduchess Anna (13)
      • Princess Maria Laura (14)
      • Prince Joachim (Not Pictured)
      • Princess Luisa Maria (15)
      • Princess Laetitia Maria (16)
    • Prince Laurent (17) & Princess Claire (18)
      • Princess Louise (19)
      • Prince Nicolas (20)  & Prince Aymeric (21)



The back of the card has the message, "Thank You So Much!" written in 5 languages. The top 3 phrases are Dutch, French, & German, which are Belgium's 3 official languages. English is included as it is an international language. And the last language is Italian, Paola's native language.

The signatures a printed on, and are the same one we have seen on past replies from the couple.

The bottom of the card features a large 60, in honor of their 60th wedding anniversary, along with the length of marriage, 1959-2019.

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Monday, September 9, 2019

The Sussexs's 1st Wedding Anniversary Reply - 2019

A lovely reply arrived today from the UK. I had written to Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan to congratulate them on their 1st wedding anniversary in May.

The envelope is the usual from the British Royals. This one has got an accidental double postmark, as it was stamped once at the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace (Red), and again at the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre (Black).

The black postmark is hard to read but says:

The law around
organ donation in
England is changing
#PassItOn



The back of the envelope features the Black Crown/Kensington Palace. The Sussexs have now officially moved their office into Buckingham Palace, but we will likely see them continue to use this stationary for awhile.


Inside is the usual photo card from Clarence House.

The front of the card features a lovely photo of the couple leaving their wedding ceremony. The photo was taken by Ben Stansall. I rather liked that they choose a photo from their wedding, and that it was something different from their wedding reply.


The back of the card features the usual sort of typed message. 


The card reads: 
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were so touched that you wrote on the occcasion of their first Wedding Anniversary.  
It was incredibly kind of you, and Their Royal Highnesses send you their warmest thanks and best wishes. 

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Monday, August 26, 2019

Prince William - Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived over the weekend from the UK. I had written to Prince William in June for his birthday.

The front of the envelope is the usual from the British royals, featuring the postmark from the court post office at Buckingham Palace.



The back of the envelope features the black crown/Kensington Royal that is currently used by the Cambridges.



Inside is Clarence House's typical birthday reply, a photo card with a typed message on the back.

The front of the card features a photo of Prince William by Norman-Jean Roy. The photo is from William's 2017 interview with British GQ. You can read the interview here.

This photo was also used on Prince William's 2017 and 2018 birthday replies. It is quite typical for Clarence House to reuse photos for multiple events, especially the adult's birthdays.


The back of the card features the black/crown Kensington Palace at the top, along with a typed message. The message is slightly different than last years.


The message reads: 
The Duke of Cambridge is most grateful to you for writing as you did on the occasion of his 37th birthday. 
It really was most thoughtful of you and His Royal Highness sends you his warmest thanks and best wishes. 
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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Prince Joachim of Denmark - 50th Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived today from Denmark. I had written to Prince Joachim in June for his 50th birthday.

I have written to Prince Joachim & his wife, Princess Marie, a number of times over the years. Princess Marie's birthday, earlier this year, was the 1st time I got a reply from them. This is the 2nd.

The envelope is pretty usual from the Danish Royals. The red crown/ Amalienbourg appears on Queen Margrethe & The Prince Couple's envelopes, but not the Crown Prince couples.



The back of the envelope features a blue crown. This is the Royal Crown of Denmark and is the same one featured on the postmark & card.



Inside is a premade card that has been personalized and signed by Charles-Henri Keller. Charles-Henri Keller is Prince Joachim's cousin on his father's side.

Charles-Henri is officially listed on the Denmark Royal website as a "Funds Secretary" for the Office of Treasury in Queen Margrethe's Household. But since Princess Marie's lady-in-waiting resigned last October, Charles-Henri has been seen accompanying Marie on official engagements. So, it looks like Charles-Henri now has some official role in Joachim & Marie's office. Although, I'm not sure what exactly his position is.



The card reads:
August 2019
Dear Miss Daly  
His Royal Highness Prince Joachim has asked me to thank you for you kind congratulations on the occasion of His Royal Highness's birthday.  
Best Regards, 
Charles-Henri Keller
It's not very often that you will get a personalized flat card like this. So, this is especially lovely. And I am always quite excited when they include the date. I think it makes it a little nicer momento, as you can look back years later and know what year this reply was from.

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Monday, August 5, 2019

Duchess Camilla - Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived today from the UK. I had written to Duchess Camilla last month to wish her a happy birthday.

The front of the envelope is pretty typical of the British royals, except for the fact that this is a larger envelope.


The back of the envelope feature's Camilla's monogram. Since the monogram is blue, we know came from Clarence House. Camilla uses an envelope with green monograms for Birkhall in Scotland, where she is spending her summer break with Prince Charles.



Inside is the usual sort of reply for Duchess Camilla's birthday, a large photo card with typed message on the back. This card is twice the size as the normal photo cards that Clarence House sends out for other royal birthdays.

The front features a photo of Duchess Camilla at the Hermitage Plantation House in Saint Kitts and Nevis during her Spring tour with Prince Charles in March. The photo was taken by royal photographer, Arthur Edward.


The back of the card features a typed message along with Camilla's auto-penned signature.


The card reads:
So many thanks for your kind birthday message.
As always, it was greatly appreciated.
From 
Camilla


Each year, for events like her birthday, Camilla does hand-sign a selection of cards and rest are auto-penned. The last few years I've written I've been lucky enough to get a real signature. But you can't expect to get lucky every year. Either way, it is an absolute treasure.

There are a few ways you can tell something has actually been signed by Camilla:

  1. There is some personalization that makes this card just for you, like "Dear _,"
  2. Usually closes "With best wishes," instead of "From"
  3. The reply is sent by registered/certified mail
  4. Not from the correspondence section 
    1. Camilla's personal staff will often write the address with each line indented (See 2017 birthday reply)
    2. Replies from Birkhall use green monogrammed envelopes
Autopenend signatures:
  1. Look the same as other people's replies
  2. No personalization
  3. Usually say "From," instead of "With best wishes,"
  4. Handled by the Correspondence Section
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