Thursday, June 28, 2018

Queen Elizabeth - Birthday Reply (2018)

 A lovely reply arrived from the UK today. I had written to The Queen in April for her 92nd Birthday. This reply took just over two months to arrive.

The envelope features the usual red postmark from the British Royals. But also has been double postmarked. This happens sometimes when the mail is taken from the Court Post office at Buckingham Palace to the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre, where most international mail is processed before being taken to Heathrow Airport.

The 2nd postmark says "Congratulations Benjamin Myers, Winner of the 2018 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction." This was a special week-long postmark to commemorate the awards.

Inside is a lovely personal letter from Mary Morrison, one of the Queen's Ladies in Waiting.

The Letter says: 

Dear Miss Daly, 

The Queen wishes me to thank you for the message you sent on the occasion of Her Majesty's ninety-second birthday, together with your kind words regarding The Queen's Commonwealth Canopy Project, The Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the appointment of the now Duke of Sussex as President of the latter, and to the role of Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.  
In another year of special events for The Royal Family, The Queen is most grateful for your thoughtfulness in writing as you did at this time. 

Yours Sincerely, 
Mary Morrison.  

I always love it when the reply makes specific mention to what I wrote in my letter. As the Queen's Birthday week was filled with numerous commonwealth events for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, I had mentioned the Queen & her family's work with the Commonwealth in my letter. 

As the Queen's office is always very busy with all her birthday mail, not everyone who writes gets a personal reply like this. Some people get a generic form letter with no signature, others get a form letter signed by a Lady in Waiting with the person's name & the date filled in. 

How I Store My Replies

All My Replies as of January 2015
I've reorganized my replies a few times over the years.

In the beginning, when I only had a few replies, I started out storing them in a decorative box, with all the different royal replies together in the order I had received them. (I use to have who each reply was from, and for what occasion I wrote, memorized)

I kept all the replies in their envelopes and it was a little hard to flip through and look at each one. And then I got some replies from Duchess Sarah that were too big to be kept in the box, so they were stored elsewhere.

After about a year, I moved my replies to 2 binders, British & Foreign Royals. The Foreign Royals were divided by country and the British Royals were divided by individual royal.

Late 2015, pictured is my 1 reply from Prince Charles I had at the time

When my binders started getting too full I divided the British royals into 3 binders (William/Kate/Harry, Queen/Philip/Charles/Camilla, and other British Royals), and moved the foreign royals to a bigger binder. Over time, I switched from having a section for each individual British royal to grouping them by couple/family. This is much easier since for Christmas, anniversaries, births, etc. as I often write to the couple, not one royal.

May 2017
In November 2016, I reorganized my binders again. The 4 binders were getting a little full, and I wanted to give myself room to grow over the next few years. So, I expanded the binders from 4 to 7 and there is now plenty of room for future replies.

May 2018
I typed up title pages for each section and labelled the binders better. At the bottom of the title pages, I have stickers to note which years, I have replies from. (For some, where I have gaps in years, I have a sticker with an x through the year I wrote, but did not receive a reply.)

Each reply gets its own page (or two pages if needed). The replies are ordered based on when I received the reply. And I keep all the envelopes, except a few of Duchess Sarah's that were too big to fit in the binder. Each page is numbered with a sticker, and the color denotes the year I got the reply. This makes it really easy to flip through and find a certain reply from a certain year. (This is especially helpful since some royals send out almost identical replies year after year.) 

9th & 10th Reply in the Queen & Prince Philip Binder

To make it easy to flip through the binders different sections, I put red tape on each of the title page.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Princess Charlotte of Cambridge - Birthday Reply (2018)

A lovely reply arrived today from the UK. I had written to the Cambridges last month to wish Princess Charlotte a wonderful 3rd birthday.

The envelope is the usual, with the postmark from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace on the front.

And the Black Crown with Kensington Palace on the back, to mark this mail is from the Cambridges/Sussexs.

The reply is their typical postcard size photo, with typed message on the back. The photo is from Princess Charlotte's 1st day of nursery school back in January. The photo was taken by Duchess Kate at Kensington Palace.

The message on the back is similar to past years. You will notice a little mistake in the last line "who you send their best wishes." It should read "who send you their best wishes."

The card reads: 
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge thank you for so kindly writing as you did to Princess Charlotte on the occasion of her third birthday.  
This was most thoughtful of you, and greatly appreciated by Their Royal Highnesses who you send [sic] their best wishes. 
I was a little surprised by how quickly the Correspondence Section at Clarence House responded given how much mail they have received in the last month.