This reply arrived today from the Netherlands. I had written to King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in December to wish them and their family a very Merry Christmas.
The Netherlands have a pretty simple envelope, with nothing on the back. The message under the Blue Crown reads "Dienst Van Het Koninklijk Huis/ Bureau of the Royal Household."
One thing I immediately noticed about the envelope is the postmark is a lighter blue than before, and they opted for a Priority mail sticker. What more, they have changed their NetSet account number (previously PB 865344, now MS 150007). You can see an example of the old envelope below.
The NetSet program allows people to frank their mail, (print the postage on the envelope). Each account has it's own number so that PostNL can charge the correct person or organization. I assume the account number change is what prompted the redesign.
Inside the envelope is the Royal Family's Christmas Card. This card was produced by Belarto in the Netherlands to raise money for UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund). The past few years the family has sent cards from the same Christmas set.
There are 5 different card designs in the set. The Royals use all 5 designs each year. So if you wrote to them this year, you may have received a different design. Luckily, in the 3 years I've written to them for Christmas, I have yet to receive any duplicates.
|My 2015, 2016 & 2017 Christmas Card from the Netherland Royals|
The message on the inside is the same as previous years. Although in 2015, I received the Dutch version.
The message reads:
The 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 PalaceThe Hague
The back of the card gives some information about the card's production. These cards were not designed especially for the Netherland Royals. Rather they just buy cards for sale by UNICEF and have a message printed on the inside.
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