Monday, July 27, 2015

Duchess Camilla - Birthday Reply (2015)

I was very excited when I spotted this envelope lying on my kitchen counter.

I could tell immediately from the front of the envelope that this letter was from Camilla. Not because there was a Monogram/Cypher on the front, but because Camilla is the only BRF I have ever gotten a larger sized envelope from or piece of mail sent by registered mail.

 One interesting thing I noticed was the color of Camilla's monogram on the back of the envelope.

Last time, it was green and this time it was blue. The green monograms are letters sent from Birkhall. Birkhall is Charles and Camilla's residence in Scotland. The blue monogram is for letters sent from Clarence House, their official residence in London.

Camilla replies with the usual photo card, with a typed message on the back. Camilla's cards are a little extra special compared to the other birthday replies from Clarence House. This card is double the size of the typical Charles/Cambridges/Harry birthday replies.

On the front of the card, is a very lovely picture of Camilla at the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of the Arts on June 2nd. The picture was taken by Thomas Alexander. I especially love this photo, because we see Camilla making a rare tiara appearance, and wearing her Royal Victorian Order and her Royal Family Order.

The reply was sent 3 days after Camilla's birthday and took 8 days to arrive in the mail.

And to make it extra special, Camilla hand-signed the note, which is why this was sent by registered mail.

The message reads:
Dear Gertrude,  
Thank you for remembering my birthday and for sending me such a lovely message.  
With best wishes, 
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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Queen Sonja of Norway - Birthday Reply (2015)

I got a reply today from Norway. I had written to Queen Sonja of Norway for her 78th birthday on July 4th. I don't remember the exact date I sent my letter, but based on when I normally send letters, this reply came in just under a month, which is a great response time.

The envelope is pretty basic. But one of the things I love about getting mail from the Royals is each country has it own distinct postmark and markings. The envelope's postmark "Norge" means Norway, and was sent priority on the 21st (2 weeks after Queen Sonja's birthday). It took 6 days to arrive in the mail.

"Det Kongelige Hoff" written on the bottom of the envelope is Norwegian for "The Royal Court." There was no monogram on the back of the envelope. 

This was the first time I had written to the Norway Royals. The letter is brief, but cute. (First letters are always very exciting.) The letter is written by the Queen's senior secretary, Reidum Norberg, on a half-sheet sized paper, and hand signed. The telephone and fax on the bottom are the general numbers for the Royal Palace.

The message on the letter:

Dear Miss Daly, 

H.M. The Queen has asked me to thank you for your kind greetings on the occasion of Her Majesty's birthday. 

Yours sincerely, 

Reidun Norberg
Senior Secretary

The letter was written on a very nice quality paper. The watermark indicates that it is the brand "Conqueror," manufactured by UK company, Arjowiggins Creative Papers.  I found this interesting because it is a British company, and because I've seen the name, Conqueror, on a number of envelopes from different royals. (The Conqueror watermark is only present on a few sizes and colors, depending on the style of paper.)

This letter is written on cream colour paper, and the lines you see in the watermark are part of the "Laid" papermaking process. 

As I looked through all my different letters, I realized many of them are on Conqueror stationary (e.g. Norway, Monaco, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duchess of York). There are a whole bunch of different types, style, colours and finishes. 

For those wondering what Stationary the British Royals use, no need for a watermark. The Queen and Prince Charles have both given out Royal Warrants to The Wren Press.

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Prince Philip - Birthday Reply (2105)

I had written to Prince Phillip for his 94th Birthday last month. This reply came about a month after I sent my letter. Which is a very reasonable response time.

This response is obviously a form response, sent to everyone who wrote. There is nothing about this letter that would suggest it was in a way specifically written for me. This is also the first letter I have received from a British Royals where it looks like the signature was printed on.

This response was written on a half sheet sized paper. Prince Philip's stationary look different than other British royals. Over the years royals have changed their stationary, but Philip has kept this older look.

The telephone number and fax are the general numbers for Buckingham Palace.

The letter says: 
I have been asked by Prince Philip to say how much he appreciated your good wishes for his Birthday. 
Fred Moynan
Assistant Equerry to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh

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