Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Hereditary Prince Alois & Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein - Christmas Reply (2016)

Today, my first Royal Christmas reply of 2016 came! This was a pretty quick reply. It helps that I wrote early when they weren't swamped with Christmas Wishes. Don't expect this good luck, even if you wrote to Liechtenstein around the same time as me. Remember it takes a while for them to reply to everyone so you could get your's weeks apart from someone else.

I had sent my letter to Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein on November 20th, so it took just over 2 weeks to get a reply. It is very lovely. The card is the same style as one I received for Princess Sophie's Birthday. But, obviously, a different typed message.


The message is in German, Liechtenstein's official language. The card reads:
Dear Miss Daly 
Blessed Christmas and all the best in the New Year 
Sophie Liechtenstein Alois Liechtenstein

The signature of Princess Sophie and Prince Alois are printed on. It looks like a secretary filled in the "Dear Miss Daly,"

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Prince Charles - Birthday Reply (2016)

Just as I was fretting about getting all my Christmas Letters written in time, this lovely piece of royal mail arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

I could immediately tell that this was from Prince Charles by the red Prince of Wales' Feathers on the back of the envelope. (They also appear on the top of the letter.)

I had written to Prince Charles for his 68th birthday last month. Usually, Clarence House responds with a photo with a typed message on the back. It's a generic birthday thank you, they send out to everyone.

But this year I received a very nice and personal letter from Miss Claudia Spens. (I know other people received the usual photo reply.)

The letter reads:
Dear Miss Daly, 
The Prince of Wales has asked me to thank you for your letter of 3rd November.  
His Royal Highness was grateful for your wonderful words of support and he greatly appreciated the generous nature of your comments regarding Poundbury. This really was most thoughtful of you.  
The Prince of Wales thoroughly enjoyed his recent tour of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. His Royal Highness was overwhelmed by the warm reception and wonderful welcome he received throughout his visit and he appreciated your good wishes.  
The Prince of Wales was touched that you should take the trouble to write as you did. His Royal Highness was heartened by your greetings on the occasion of his 68th birthday and has asked me to send you his sincerest thanks and very best wishes.  
Yours sincerely, 
Claudia Spens
I really liked that the letter mentioned all the things I talked about in my birthday letter to Charles. Often letters can be kind of vague, "Thank you for your kind wishes," but this mentions specifically what I wrote about.

I also think this is one of the longest letters I have received from a royal.

I sent my letter on November 3rd. This came December 1st, so it took just under a month.


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Queen's 90th Birthday Reply (2016)

Over the years many of you have come to me worried about not having received a reply yet. My response to you has usually been, "You just need to be Patient. It will come; you just need to give it time." And this reply has certainly tested my patience.

I had written Queen Elizabeth II 7 months ago, in honor of her 90th Birthday in April, and today I finally received my reply. It has been a long wait. It started when a friend received his reply, postmarked The Queen's Birthday from Windsor Castle. I remembering thinking, they are really on top of things, and surely my reply can't be too far off.

Well, after the longest response time I've ever had, here it is. Unlike the Queen's usual responses, this is a card (accompanied by a note, apologizing for the delay).

The front of the card features the Queen's Royal Cypher, EIIR, which stands for Elizabeth II Regina. (Regina is Latin for Queen.)

The cards says: 
Buckingham Palace
I send you my grateful thanks for the kind words you have sent to me on the occasion of my ninetieth birthday. 
Elizabeth R
The photo on the inside of the card was released last year to mark the Queen becoming Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch.
With the card was a little note apologizing for the delay. 

The note says: 
Buckingham Palace 
The Queen hopes you will understand that, because of the enormous number of letters, cards and messages she has received in the last few months, it has not been possible to reply to you until now. 
It's a very lovely reply and certainly worth the wait!

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Queen Paola of Belgium - Birthday Reply (2016)

This arrived yesterday from Belgium. I had written to Queen Paola (King Philippe's mother) last month for her 79th birthday.

The reply came in a very beautiful envelope. The back has her address on the sides in French and Dutch, and the name of the Castle where she lives with her husband, Chateau du Belvedere.

What is most special about the envelope is the inside has this purple tissue paper. I think this is definitely one of my favorite envelopes.

Purple, as you know, is the color of royalty (in certain parts of the world) and Paola uses it for her Royal Cypher. Some of you will complain that this color isn't purple, it's too red. But, did you know what is considered the color purple is different in various parts of the world?

Inside is a typed note, in French. The signature and date are printed on. Queen Paola would have hand-signed one copy, that was then scanned and printed on all the cards.

The message translates to:
Thank you for your kind wishes sent on the occasion of my birthday. 
Your attention really touched me.
Paola 11.9.2016 
The date is her birthday, 11th September. The 9 is written in Roman Numerals.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Prince Harry - Birthday Reply (2016)

A lovely reply arrived today from Clarence House. Yes, the envelope and stationary say Kensington Palace, and the Cambridge/Harry office is at Kensington Palace. But their mail is handled by Prince Charles's office at Clarence House.

Claudia Spens works for Clarence House, as head of their Correspondence Section.

I had written to Prince Harry earlier this month for his 32nd Birthday. The reply arrived 2.5 weeks after I sent my letter, which is a quicker response time than Harry's birthday reply in 2015 & 2014.

Typically, Clarence House sends out a postcard size photo with a typed message on the back for birthdays. This year I got a letter instead. I have seen many people get the typical postcard-sized photo with message this year. It features the same photo as last year's reply with a similar message.

The letter reads:
Dear Miss Daly,  
Prince Harry has asked me to thank you for your letter of 9th September. It was so kind of you to take the trouble to write as you did and His Royal Highness greatly appreciated your kind wishes on the occasion of his 32nd birthday.  
Prince Harry has also asked me to thank you for your thoughtful and generous words of support for all he does to help the many charities and causes he so passionately cares about. His Royal Highness asked me to send you his warmest thanks and best wishes.  
Yours Sincerely,  
Claudia Spens

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Prince Félix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg - Pregnancy Announcement (2016)

I love getting Royal Mail, and it's especially nice during the long wait of a royal tour.

I had written to Princess Claire and Prince Félix of Luxembourg in July when they announced they were expecting their 2nd child, this Autumn. We haven't been given any more specifics about the baby or the due date (October or late November seems likely).

This reply came 2.5 months later.

The envelope is typical for Luxembourg. The lovely stamp was created by Mariepol Goetzinger, and released in September 2015 as part of a set to celebrate Luxembourg's bio-diversity.

The postmark celebrates the anniversaries of two Museums: the Grand Duke Jean Museum of Modern Art's 10th Anniversary (MUDAM) & Casino Luxembourg's 20th Anniversary.

Inside is a very simple card, typical of what you see from the Luxembourg Royals. A bit interesting that the card doesn't mention why I wrote to the couple.

The card reads:
Their Royal Highnesses Prince Felix and Princess Claire of Luxembourg were so touched by your kind message. They thank you very much. 
Luxembourg, September 2016 
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Sunday, September 11, 2016

Princess Beatrice - Birthday Reply (2016)

Quite excited to receive this reply over the weekend.

I wrote to Princess Beatrice early last month for her 28th Birthday. This reply came about a month later, which makes it a few weeks earlier than last year's birthday reply.

The envelope is the usual from the British Royals with Prince Andrew's badge on the back. What is a bit unusual is the Royal Mail's postmark (in black). Usually, letters from the British Royals just feature their red postmark (w/ EIIR and Buckingham Palace). This red postmark is used by all the London-based royal offices.

The black Royal Mail postmark reads the ‘Royal Mail proud to support Stroke Association.’ Stroke Association is the Royal Mail's charity partner and their "Charity of the Year" for September 2014-September 2016. This postmark is used over that two year period to raise awareness for the cause. 

The Queen is Patron of Stroke Association and the Duke of Kent is President. 

The second part of the postmark reads "Royal Mail, Mount Pleasant Mail Centre." The Mount Pleasant Mail Centre is in London and use to be one of the world's largest sorting offices.

The letter is the typical reply from Prince Andrew's Office. The letter was written by Andrew's Private Secretary, Amanda Thirsk, and is hand-signed.

The letter reads:
Buckingham Palace
30th August, 2016
Dear Miss Daly,  
Princess Beatrice has asked me to thank you for your kind letter dated 5th August, 2016. Her Royal Highness was very grateful for the Birthday message.  
Princess Beatrice sends you her best wishes.  
Yours Sincerely,  
Amanda Thirsk LVO
Private Secretary to The Duke of York

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Duchess Camilla - Birthday Reply (2016)

A very exciting piece of royal mail arrived today. from the UK.

It was from Duchess Camilla, thanking me for the Birthday wishes I sent her. The card is similar to last year's birthday reply, a picture with a typed message on the back, which she hand-signed. The card is double the size of the typical Cambridge/Harry reply.

The picture is from October 2015, when Camilla attended the Man Booker Prize Award Ceremony. Camilla presented the award to the winner and gave a Speech.

The Man Booker Prize is a literary prize awarded to the best new novel, written in English and published in the UK. The Prize is awarded every year.

The name, Man Booker, comes from the award's founder & sponsors. The award was founded and sponsored in 1968, by the company Booker, McConnell Ltd (a food distributor). It was originally called the Booker–McConnell Prize. Over time the award became know, as simply, the Booker Prize. 

In 2002, the Booker Prize broke off from Booker, McConnell Ltd, and started its own foundation, The Booker Prize Foundation. The Man group (an investment firm) became the Prize's new sponsor, and the award was renamed the Man Booker Prize. 

Camilla is a big supporter of literacy and is Parton of a number of organizations that support literacy. 

Camilla has attended the Man Booker Prize, every year as of late, and it is one of Camilla's favorite events. No surprise that a book lover like Camilla would choose something literary-themed for her birthday card. 

By pure coincidence, I actually talked about some of Camilla's work with literacy in my Birthday letter to her, particularly the Roald Dahl 100th Anniversary.  

The back of the card is particularly special as well.  The message reads:
Dear Gertrude, 
Thank you very much for your kind message on my birthday. It seems to come round faster every year.
With best wishes, 

I love the playfulness of the line: "It [Camilla's Birthday] seems to come round faster every year!" You also have to appreciate that Camilla took the time to hand-sign each card, and write the person's name. 

The envelope looks like the normal royal mail. Since this was something that Camilla hand-signed, it was sent by registered mail. 

What is very very very interesting is, the letter was sent to my old address. I moved in February, long before I sent my letter for Camilla's birthday. I was able to check since I had typed them on my computer, both the letter and the envelope used my new address. So if you had just looked at what I sent, they would not have my old address. 

This tells me Camilla's office stores people's address on their computer (which if you have to print them on the envelope each time they reply makes sense). So when they typed in my name, my old address came up. 

The blue monogram on the back of the envelope tells us that this was sent from Clarence House. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Prince Philip - Birthday Reply (2016)

This arrived over the weekend.

I had written to Prince Philip, in June, for his 95th Birthday.

The reply is almost exactly the same as last year's birthday Reply & written by the same person, Captain Frederick Moynan.

Captain Moynan is an Assistant Equerry for Prince Philip. Equerry's are Officers in the Armed Forces who serve in a Royal's household for a 2 year period. Equerries often help coordinate engagements, travel, etc. The position rotates through the different branches of the Armed Forces every 2 years. (Should not be confused with the Crown Equerry, who is in charge of the Horses at the Royal Mews.)

I would expect next year's reply will be written by someone else as Captain Moynan will likely have finished his time serving in Prince Philip's household.

It took the Palace a little longer to send the birthday reply this year, as would be expected given that this was a milestone birthday. But this is still a very good response time!


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

You will notice that the letter referred to him as Prince Philip. Phillip's replies are the only ones I have seen from the British Royals who uses the royal's name.

The Palace almost always refer to the royal by their title. This is why since his wedding Prince William has always been referred to as Duke of Cambridge and never Prince William by the Palace. This is the same reason why the Palace calls her Duchess of Cambridge and never Princess Catherine. They do the same with the other Prince and Princesses: It is always Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex, Duke of Kent, etc. and never Prince Charles, Princess Camilla, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince Edward, etc.

(Harry, George, Charlotte don't have titles of their own, so they always use their name.)

Since I know people will ask: No, I haven't gotten a reply for the Queen's 90th Birthday. Buckingham Palace has been very busy, but working hard. I keep seeing somebody get a reply every week or so, so they are working on it.

Prince Philip's mail and the Queen's mail are dealt with by different offices at Buckingham Palace, so don't read anything into Philip's reply arriving first.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Prince Albert & Princess Charlene of Monaco - 5th Anniversary Reply (2016)

This arrived while I was on holiday.

I had written to Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco to congratulate them on their 5th wedding anniversary, which is July 1st/2nd (Civil/Religious). I had written much earlier than I normally do because I had gotten June and July mixed up. Surprisingly this arrived well before their actual anniversary.

The front of the envelope looks like typical mail from Monaco.

The stamp is for the 150th Anniversary of the International Telecommunication Union. It was released in May 2015. The postmark is for Jardin Exotique de Monaco (Exotic Garden of Monaco).

Two interesting about this envelope: (1) No monogram on the back. (2) The envelope is not as nice quality as we normally see from Monaco. It is hard to tell from the picture, but you can definitely feel and see the difference in person. Monaco envelopes usually vary in color (white, cream, etc) and have different textures, but they are very nice quality. This envelope is a very basic envelope.

Many Royals use basic envelopes with little/no adornment, which is fine. It's just surprising for Monaco. Their Royal Family has a long history of being Stamp Collectors (Philatelist). There is a Royal Stamp Collection museum, and every stamp & postmark that Monaco uses has been approved by the Prince for generations. So, obviously, mail is an important thing for the Royal Family. They take great care & pride in it. (I have long considered them to send the nicest replies out of all the royals).

Another interesting thing about the reply is that it is a letter. Normally they send a pre-typed card for the occasion. (Which are always very lovely, on very nice quality cardstock.

Letter replies are usually sent, when they don't have a pre-made card (either because they didn't make one for that occasion, or you wrote too early or late).

The letter was written by Christine Sprile, one of Prince Albert's Secretary, and is fairly short, printed on nice paper. You will notice they took care to put the text between the two folds.

The letter says: 
Dear Ms Daly,  
TT.SS.HH Prince Albert II & Princess Charlene asked me to thank you most sincerely for your kind wishes sent on the occasion of Their fifth wedding anniversary.  
Your thoughtfulness has been greatly appreciated by Their Serene Highnesses. 
With all my best regards,  
Christine Sprile

What is interesting is the date on the letter, July 4th, which is next week. (Obviously not when the letter was written.) Sometimes replies are dated with the date of the event, but their wedding anniversary is on July 1st/2nd, not 4th. This letter was also written too late for it to be a June/July mistake, where they had meant to write June 4th.

The red print on the top of the page reads "La Secrétaire Particuliére De S.A.S. Le Prince Souverain De Monaco" which translated mean "The Private Secretary of His Serene Highness, the Sovereign Prince Of Monaco."

TT.SS.HH. means Their Serene Highnesses. I'm not really sure why they write each letter twice since TSH (Their Serene Highnesses) is already the plural of HSH (His/Her Serene Highness). But they do it in French as well, writing LL.AA.SS (Leurs Altesses Sérénissimes), which is plural of S.A.S. (Son Altesse Sérénissime). Monaco and Luxembourg are the only Royal countries I have seen do this.

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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Prince William & Duchess Kate - 5th Wedding Anniversary Reply (2016)

This arrived on Friday. I had written to the Cambridges for their 5th wedding anniversary and Princess Charlotte's 1st Birthday.

A month and a half later, this arrived. It is the Cambridges' usual picture reply.

The picture certainly surprised me. This is the 1st time, I've gotten a photo that hadn't been released to the public. This is unusual, as we usually get a picture from an official engagement or some official photo that was released.

The photo was taken by Chris Jelf. He was the photographer behind the Cambridge's Christmas Photo taken last October.

The message is what we typically see.

The card reads:
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were so touched that you took the trouble to write as you did on the occasion of their 5th Wedding Anniversary. 
It really was most thoughtful of you and Their Royal Highnesses send you their warmest thanks and best wishes. 

My letter for the Cambridge's 5th wedding anniversary was also for Princess Charlotte's 1st Birthday. I had hoped to find two cards in the letter, one for each event. But no.

I'm hoping that Princess Charlotte's Birthday reply might come separately. But it could be whoever was answering the mail only glanced over my letter and didn't see the part about Princess Charlotte's Birthday.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

King Harald of Norway - Birthday Reply (2016)

Today, I received a reply from King Harald of Norway. I had written to him in February for his 79th birthday. 

The envelope is the usual from the Norway Royals. "Det Kongelige Hoff" in the bottom corner is Norwegian for "The Royal Court."  The envelope is postmarked 16 April, just under two months after his birthday.

The letter looks exactly like the other letter I had received from Queen Sonja for her birthday last year. The letter is printed on a half-size sheet of paper. 

The letter reads:
Dear Miss Daly, 

H.M. The King has asked me to thank you for your friendly letter which His Majesty has been very pleased to receive. 

Yours sincerely, 

Åse-Marie Berg
Palace's Royal Secretariats

The letter is nice, but it doesn't mention why I wrote, which confused me. I had sent three letters over the last few months to the Norway Royals (Christmas, Silver Jubilee in January, and King Harald's 79th Birthday in February) and this was the only reply I've received. I was able to figure out that this was in reply to my birthday letter since I had moved in late January, and the birthday reply was the only one that used my new address.

The words "friendly letter" made me smile. Usually, they just write "your letter" or thank you for your "kind wishes."

The letter is hand signed by Åse-Marie Berg, who is one of the Palace's Royal Secretariats. Royal Secretariat is a department in the Royal Household that organizes engagements, responds to invitations, answers mail, etc. Should not be confused with a Private Secretary.

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Friday, April 22, 2016

King Philippe of Belgium - Birthday Reply (2016)

So I must admit I was utterly puzzled when I arrived home today and found two envelopes from the Belgium Royal Palace waiting for me. I could remember one recent letter I had written, but I could not for the life of me remember the 2nd letter.

Sheepishly, I opened the two envelopes to see what I had forgotten and found that it wasn't my mistake, it was the Palace's. For some reason, they sent me two copies of the same letter. They are exactly the same, except for the small differences of two hand-signatures.

I had written for King Philippe's 56th birthday, on April 15th. But had also expressed my sympathies for the recent attack in Brussels.

The letter reads: 
Dear Miss Daly,  
I have been directed by Their Majesties the King and the Queen to acknowledge the receipt of your letter following the attacks in Belgium on March 22nd, 2016.  
The King and the Queen, deeply touched by your message of heartfelt sympathy, have asked me to convey to you Their warmest thanks for your deepest solidarity with the Belgian people and your pious thoughts.  
The King and The Queen have asked me to send you Their best wishes of health.  
Yours sincerely, 
Frans van Daele
Head of Cabinet of His Majesty the King
This is the first time I have ever received a letter from the Belgium Royals, previously I've just received cards. The letter makes no mention of the fact that I had written for the King's birthday. 

One thing I found very interesting was the letters and number on the top of the page, CC /MF /P 612.935. I have no idea what they mean. I assume they are some sort of way of documenting this letter. 

The letter was written by Frans Van Daele, the Head of the King's Cabinet. The reply came super fast, it was written about the same day it was received. 

As I said, I received two identical letters. But, one of the letters was accompanied by two pictures. (The other letter had no pictures.) 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Prince Albert of Monaco - Birthday Reply (2016)

A lovely reply arrived from Prince Albert of Monaco. I had written for his Birthday in March.

The envelope looks exactly like you would expect from Monaco.

What got me really excited was the stamp.  Not just because I love Monaco's stamps, but because I mentioned the Lillehammer Youth Olympics in my letter to Prince Albert. So it was a lovely touch they used the Lillehammer stamp on the envelope. The stamp is from February, which is pretty recent. Monaco's stamps on replies aren't always that recent. So, I would like to think this stamp was used because I mentioned the Games in my letter.

Even though Monaco has zero Olympics medals and only 1 Youth Olympic medal, Prince Albert has always proudly supported and encouraged Monaco's athletes. Prince Albert flew to Norway in February to watch Monaco's one athlete competing in the Youth Olympic Games. And we, of course, expect to see him at the Rio Olympics this summer. (I'm thinking it will be unlikely Charlene and the twins, Gabriella and Jacques will join him. But you never know.Currently, Monaco does not have any Athletes qualified for the Rio Olympics. But there is still time, and they haven't missed a Game since 1980.

Monaco is usually very predictable when it comes to sending replies. They usually send pre-made cards, DL sized (i.e. size of a normal envelope), on very nice quality paper, and often with the message in English & French. The reply will have the Royals' monogram (either engraved or embossed) and their signature printed on.

The message says: 
I would like to thank you warmly for your kind birthday wishes 
Albert de Monaco

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Duchess Kate - Birthday Reply (2016)

Today, I received a reply to the letter I wrote to Duchess Kate for her Birthday in January! The reply was sent a little over a month after her birthday, which is a great response time.

The envelope looked just like the usual. But what was most interesting is it came in an envelope with William's monogram on the back. Kate's mail usually comes in envelopes with her Golden monogram. So, this was either a simple mistake, or they ran out of her envelopes.

If the card looks at all familiar it's because it is. This is the exact same picture and message used for Kate's reply last year. There is no way to tell them apart. I was comparing the two, and I mixed them up. I was luckily able to figure out which was which, because one of them had gotten slightly dented in the mail, and I could match the dent with the dented envelope, which of course has a postmark on the date and different monograms.

The picture was taken by Arthur Edwards during the Cambridges visit to Only Connect's Head Office on 19th November 2013. Only Connect works with ex-offenders and young people at risk of offending to give them the skill, tools, and opportunities to develop and pursue their life goals in a productive way.

This is quite an old photo (26 months old), even old for last years reply (14 months old). Of all the photos I've gotten from various royals, Kate's birthday replies (and Duchess Sarah's) are the only ones I've gotten that have pictures over 6ish months old. Usually, the photos are fairly recent.

The card reads: 
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. 
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Princess Charlene - Birthday Reply (2016)

Replies from Monaco are always one of my favorites!

One of the things you have to appreciate is the fact that they use actual stamps. Prince Albert's father really loved stamps. He oversaw the production of all of Monaco's stamps and opened the Museum of Stamps and Coins. (Monaco's two Princes before Albert's father were also big stamp collectors.)

This stamp features "La nymphe Salmacis," a work by Monaco sculptor François-Joseph Bosio (The nymph Salmacis - from Greek mythology). The stamp was released in April 2015.

An interesting thing about the envelope is the circle on the left side. All the letter I've gotten from Monaco have said "Service de S.A.S. le Prince/la Princesse de Monaco" (Service of HSH the Prince/ss of Monaco). But it is usually written in two lines. This is the first time I have seen it in a circle with the Monaco coat of arms.

Inside is a typed, thank you card for Princess Charlene's birthday, with a printed signature. The reply is very similar to her card from last year.

The card reads:
I was deeply touched by your kind wishes on the occasion of my birthday, and I would like to thank you most sincerely for this kind gesture. Charlene de Monaco
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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg - 95th Birthday Reply (2016)

I was very excited when I saw this in the mailbox today. Not just because it's royal mail, which is always exciting, but because this was the 1st time I had written to the Luxembourg royals. And I really didn't know what to expect in response.

I had written to Grand Duke Jean for his 95th Birthday last month.

The front of the envelope is pretty standard looking. And yes, that is Grand Duke Henri (Jean's son) on the 2nd stamp.

The back of the envelope features a crown and where the letter was from, Chateau de Fischbach (Fischbach Castle), which is the residence of Grand Duke Jean.

Inside the envelope is a typed thank you card. This is quite similar to the type of responses usually send by the King & Queen of Belgium and the Crown Prince & Crown Princess of Denmark.

The card reads:
Château de Fischbach
February 2016
Grand Duke Jean appreciated your kind wishes on the occasion of His 95th birthday and send you many thinks.  

This was a pretty good response time. The reply was sent almost exactly a month after the Grand Duke's Birthday.

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Friday, February 12, 2016

Crown Prince Frederik & Crown Princess Mary of Denmark - Christmas Reply (2015)

Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark are simple and predictable when it comes to sending replies. Their Christmas reply this year is exactly like all of the other replies I have received from them. They even reused their message from last year's Christmas reply.

The only real way to tell the difference between this reply and last years Christmas reply is the date on the postmark, and the spacing of the message.

The message reads:
The Court of TRH The Crown Prince & Crown Princess
Amalienborg Palace 
On behalf of Their Royal Highnesses, The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark,  I would like to thank you for your Season's Greetings.  

Chief of the Court of Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark

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Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Duchess Sarah - Christmas (2015)

A lovely thank you letter arrived last week from Sarah, Duchess of York! I had written to Sarah to wish her a very merry Christmas.

The letter is similar to the other one's I have received from her in the past. The letter is written by some assistant.

The Letter reads: 
Dear Gertrude  
On behalf of Sarah, the Duchess of York, thank you so much for your recent Christmas card. The Duchess always enjoys receiving personal correspondence and reading your kind words.  
We take pleasure in sending you a signed photograph along with the Duchess's best wishes.  
Your Sincerely (Signature)The Office of the Duchess of York 
Miss Gertrude Daly (My Address) 

"Everyone, no matter how humble he may be, has angels to watch over him. They are heavenly, pure and splendid, and yet they have been given to us to keep us company along with way. They have been given the task of keeping careful watch over you."
Pope Puis XII

The quote at the bottom is the same quote Sarah has used on all the letter I've received from her so far. It is from Pope Pius XII from a speech on October 3rd, 1958, six days before the Pope's death. 

Included with the letter was a photo, mounted on card stock with a printed signature. The photo is quite old. I tried to find when it was taken but had no luck.

It would have been nice to see a more recent photo since in promoting various products and in interviews, Sarah has said she is the healthiest and more confident than she has been in years.

Friday, January 22, 2016

King Philippe and Queen Mathilde - Christmas Reply (2015)

A lovely reply arrived from Belgium for the Christmas letter I sent King Philippe and Queen Mathilde.

One thing I have noticed over my experience writing to the Royals is that each country has a very distinctive postmark. Without even reading the country name, I know immediately this envelope was from Belgium.

This postmark is quite simple, but you will notice that the post office put it on the bottom of the envelope, instead of the top. This is so that the Postmark doesn't overlap with the Monogram.

My thoughts are that is more about making sure the computers at the post office can read the postmark and properly sort the letter, than preserving the monogram.

Another interesting thing is, of course, the monogram. You have Queen Mathilde's M, interlocked with an F & P for King Philippe. The F & P stand for the different spellings of King Philippe's name in the 3 official languages of Belgium.
  • French: Philippe
  • Dutch: Filip
  • German: Philipp(e)
Inside the envelope is the Royal Family's Christmas card. The front of the card is simple, it has a red border with the couple's joint monogram. Inside the card, is a message with a family picture.

The Message is written in the 3 official languages of Belgium as well as English: "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." The King and Queen's signatures are printed onto the card, with their 4 children's names typed below (in order of age).  

I'm not entirely sure when the photo was taken. But the photo released for Princess Elisabeth's birthday in November looks like it comes from the same shoot.


This was the 2nd time I had written to King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, the first being after the death of Queen Fabiola in 2014.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Prince Harry - Christmas (2015)

It's been an exciting week, with Christmas replies arriving every day. Today came Prince Harry's Christmas Card!

The photo is the same as his Birthday Card. The photo is of him during Walk of Britain, with Walking With the Wounded. (He did this with his previous Christmas & Birthday reply in 2014 as well, using a photo from Invictus Games for both).

Another interesting note is Harry's Christmas and Birthday replies both this year and last year featured pictures by Chris Jackson.

The message on the card is the same as last years. Which is fine, I do like how the wording is slightly different than the Cambridges and Charles and Camilla's reply.

The card reads:
Prince Harry is most grateful to you for the very kind message sent at Christmas and sends his very best wishes for the New Year.
It is weird that once again we aren't seeing the pic that Kensington Palace released for Christmas. I understand they are using the photo for their private Christmas cards, but it seems odd to me that they would release the pictures to the public, but not use them. Normally, there may be an issue of not having the photo released yet when they are printing the replies, but this picture below was released back in September.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla - Christmas Reply (2015)

Today, a reply arrived from the UK. I had written to Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla for Christmas. It looks a lot like the standard Cambridge/Harry reply; postcard-sized picture with a typed message on the back. This is the 2nd time, I've gotten this type of reply from Charles/Camilla. The first being Prince Charles's Birthday this past year.

For Prince Charles's previous birthday and Christmas, I received letters. However, I have seen photo reply like this that other people have received from them in the past, so this isn't a big change.

The photo is of Charles and Camilla at the service to mark the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, at St Paul's Cathedral on June 18, 2015. A little interesting they didn't choose to use the photo they had released for Christmas. It could be that photo was just for their private/personal Christmas card. And they wanted their public Christmas card to feature some of the work that they have done this year.

Interestingly, Prince Charles Birthday reply this year also featured him in uniform.

The message on the card is slightly different and longer than the Cambridges, but says basically the same thing.

The message says:
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall would like to thank you so much for the kind message you sent at Christmas. It was very much appreciated by them.  
Their Royal Highnesses send you their warmest best wishes for a very Happy New Year. 

I want to apologize for the not so great quality of the front of the card. I think it is partly the printing of the card, and photoshopping. The printing caused it to be a little pixelated as well as have a stray line by Camilla's armrest and pillow behind her. They also blurred the background of the picture slightly, which gives everything sharpened a weird edge.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

King Willem-Alexander & Queen Maxima - Christmas Reply (2015)

Today, I received a Christmas Card for the Netherlands!

I wasn't sure what to expect since I hadn't written to the King Willem-Alexander & Queen Maxima for Christmas before. Although, I have written to them once before.

The envelope looks almost exactly like before. Except the price of postage has gone up of few cents. The message under the Blue Crown reads "Dienst Van Het Koninklijk Huis" (Bureau of the Royal Household)

Inside was a card, with a lovely winter scene, and typed message on the inside.

The Message is in Dutch and reads:

His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen thank you, on behalf of the entire royal family, for your heartfelt Christmas greeting.  

They wish you all the best for the New Year! 

Noordeinde Palace 
The Hague
It is a very lovely message and card. But my favorite part was the back. This card was produced by Belarto in the Netherlands to raise money for UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). It's really great to see them 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 advisory boards for the United Nations.

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.

This is definitely one of my top Christmas Cards this year.

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