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
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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