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, 

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.

Back to Replies - Main Page

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.  
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) & Princess Elisabetta (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.