Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Prince Harry - 35th Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived this week from the UK. I had written to Prince Harry is September to wish him a happy 35th birthday.

The front of the envelope is the usual from the British Royals.


The back of the envelope features Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan's joint monogram. The Sussexs just changed their stationery to reflect their household's move to Buckingham Palace. We had a post earlier this month on the evolution of the Sussexes's replies


Inside are a letter and photo card. The letter is from Claudia Spens, who is head of the correspondence section at Clarence House. Clarence House will continue to answer the Sussexes and Cambridges mail, as it has always done. 

This letter is the first I have received with the Sussex's Joint Monogram, but otherwise, it is the same layout as all the past letters I have received from the couple. 


The letter reads: 
Buckingham Palace
17th October, 2019

Dear Miss Daly,  

The Duke of Sussex has asked me to thank you for your letter of 15th September, and kind message which you have sent on the occasion of his 35th birthday. It really was thoughtful of you.  
His Royal Highness is grateful to you for taking the trouble to write as you did with such kind words of support in connection with the launch of 'Travalyst," a new global sustainable travel initiative and for The Duke and Duchess of Sussex's Royal Tour of Africa. Their Royal Highnesses very much enjoyed their visit to Africa and greatly appreciated the warm welcome they received. As a thank you for your letter, I have enclosed a photograph that I hope you will like.  

This letter comes with The Duke of Sussex's warmest thanks and best wishes.  
Yours sincerely, Claudia Spens

With the letter is a photo card. It is the same photo that was used for Prince Harry's birthday reply, but this card has a blank back.  I believe this is the first time I've gotten a photocard from Clarence House without a message on the back. But, I know they have had blank cards like this for years, that they use when needed.


The photo is of Prince Harry at the Founders Day Parade at Royal Hospital Chelsea in June. It is interesting to see that Prince Harry chose a group photo this year instead of the usual headshot. Duchess Meghan's birthday card last year was one of the first birthday cards I had gotten from Clarence House that used a group photo. 


The back of the card is blank, except for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) mark. This indicates that the card is made from paper from FSC-certified, well-managed forests. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Princess Eugenie & Jack Brooksbank - Wedding Anniversary Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived today from the UK. I had written to Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank earlier this month to congratulation them on their 1st wedding anniversary.

The envelope is the usual from the British royals.


The back of the envelope features Prince Andrew's badge. 


The letter is the typical from Prince Andrew's office. This was written by Ms. Charlotte Fenn, who is one of Prince Andrew's Assistant Private Secretaries. Princess Beatrice & Princess Eugenie don’t have any of their own staff, but so their mail is answered by Andrew’s staff.


Pretty much everyone who wrote for this occasion got the same form letter. The letter is dated with the couple's wedding anniversary.

The letter reads:
Dear Miss Daly,  
Princess Eugenie of York and Mr. Jack Brooksbank have asked me to thank you for sending them your congratulations on their first Wedding Anniversary.  
They are very grateful to you for thinking of them and send you their best wishes.  
Yours sincerely, 

Ms. Charlotte Fenn 
Assistant Private Secretary of HRH Princess Eugenie of York
You will notice that the letter refers to Princess Eugenie as "of York." Most of the time, women after marriage drop their parent's territorial designation. And we have seen Buckingham Palace in general drop the "of York" from Princess Eugenie's name since the wedding. But, Prince Andrew's office still insists on using it, probably because it improves name recognition.

Back to Replies - Main Page 

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Archie Mountbatten Windsor - Christening Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived this week from the UK. I had written to Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan in July for Archie's Christening.

The front of the envelope is the usual from the British Royals and features the red EIIR postmark from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace.


The back of the envelope is new. This is the first reply I have received that features Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan's joint monogram.


This is the 3rd version of the Sussexes envelope since I started writing in 2014. You can learn more about the evolution of the Sussexes' Replies here.

The reply is the usual photo card from Clarence House. The front features a lovely photo taken by Chris Allerton at Windsor Castle after Archie's christening.



The back of the card features a typed message.



The back of the card says:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been overwhelmed by all of the incredibly kind cards and letters they have received on the occasion of Archie's Christening, and are so touched that you took the trouble to write as you did.  
It really was most thoughtful of you and greatly appreciated by Their Royal Highnesses who send you their very best wishes. 


Clarence House has changed it polity about what events they reply for:
"[Their Royal Highnesses] greatly appreciate all the messages that are sent in celebration of special events. However, with limited resources available to handle the growing volume of cards that they receive, Their Royal Highnesses will now focus on responding to a select number of these occasions such as Christmas, birthdays and select anniversaries."  
- Claudia Spens, Head of the Correspondence Section 
(via letter to British_RoyalReplies)
So, basically, Clarence House has decided to stop sending out replies for all the small, insignificant things some people write for. They will continue to send replies out for Birthdays, Christmas and other important events.

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Evolution of the Sussexes' Envelopes (2014-Present)

This covers the evolution of the Sussexes' envelopes from 2014 when I started writing to the present. This post will just focus on the big changes. There have been a number of small changes (paper, glossiness of card, etc.).

This reply just covers the envelopes used by the Correspondence Section to reply to well-wishers. Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan have other stationery that they use for other stuff.  

Solo Monogram (? - 2016)  

This is the envelope I received the very first time I wrote to Prince Harry. I don't know exactly how long it was in use before I started writing.

The envelope features Prince Harry's solo monogram. The monogram was designed by the College of Arms and features the same coronet used on Prince Harry's coat of arms. A coronet is a small crown. And the British Royals & nobility use different coronets to denote a person's rank or status. This coronet is for "The Children of the Heir Apparent. This is why we see this same crown used by William, Kate, and Meghan on their monograms.

The monogram is printed in Pantone 281, which is similar to the blue used by Princess Diana in her monogram.

This envelope stopped being used for replies to well-wishers in 2016. But, Prince Harry continued to use it for other things until 2019, when his solo monogram was redesigned.

Used by:
  • Prince Harry 
    • Replies to Well-Wishers (?-2016)
    • Other (?-2019)
Sizes: 
  • Letter
  • ?

Black Crown/Kensington Palace (2016-2019)  


In 2016, William, Kate & Harry's replies switched from each having their own solo monogrammed stationery to this shared stationery. This change was partly to help cut costs and made it easier for the correspondence section. When Meghan joined the Royal Family, she became the 4th royal to use this stationery.

The envelope features the coronet of "The Children of the Heir Apparent," which is used on the coat of arms for William, Kate, Harry & Meghan. Underneath is "Kensington Palace," the colloquial name & location of William, Kate, Harry & Meghan joint household at the time. ("Kensington Palace" on the envelope reflects the main location of their office, not where the envelope was actually sent from.)

The switch to Black was, in part, a cost-cutting measure, but also reflects that the stationary is used by multiple Royals. When William & Harry's monograms were first announced to the public, Clarence House noted that while the solo monograms were in different colors, when the Princes' monograms appeared together they should be printed in black.

Used by:
  • Prince William & Duchess Kate
    • Replies to Well-Wishers (2016-Present)
  • Prince Harry 
    • Replies to Well-Wishers (2016-2019)
  • Duchess Meghan 
    • Replies to Well-Wishers (2017-2019)
Sizes: 
  • Letter
  • Postcard
Joint Monogram (2019 - Present)

In 2019, Harry & Meghan's changed their stationery to reflect their household's split from the Cambridges and move to Buckingham Palace.

The envelope continues to feature the same coronet of "The Children of the Heir Apparent," that we have seen since the beginning. The monogram is printed in Pantone 281, which is the same color as Prince Harry's old solo monogram. We don't see the British royals use Joint Monograms often, although each couple will have one. I believe Harry & Meghan are the only British Royals to feature a joint monogram on their standard envelopes.

Used by:
  • Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan 
    • Replies to Well-Wishers (2019- Present)
Sizes: 
  • Letter
  • Postcard

Back to Evolution of Sussexes' Replies - Main Page

Evolution of Sussexes' Replies (2014-Present)

Here is a look at the evolution of The Sussexes' replies since I started writing to the Royals in 2014. This chart focuses on the big changes. There have been a number of small changes (paper, glossiness of card, etc.)

Linked in the table are blog posts on the evolution of that item. I will write a post about the evolution of the photocard & letter later.

YearPostmarkEnvelopePhoto Card Letter
2014
Buckingham
Palace
No Border
Solo Monogram/
Kensington Palace
2015
2016
Black Crown/
Kensington Palace
2017
White Border
2018
2019
White Border with Black 
Crown/ Kensington Palace
Buckingham
Palace
White Border
Joint Monogram/
Buckingham Palace
2020
Joint Monogram on front
-

Answered by: 
  • Correspondence Section at Clarence House (2014-Present)
This reflects the stationery commonly used to reply to well-wishers. The Sussexes have other stationery for other uses.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Prince Carl Philip of Sweden - 40th Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived from Sweden this week. I had written to Prince Carl Philip back in May for his 40th birthday. This is my 5th reply from Sweden since I started writing in 2015.

The front of the envelope is the usual from the Swedish Royals. In the top left corner is the national coat of arms, with the address "Royal Court, Royal Palace, SE-107 70 Stockholm" written underneath.

.

This reply was certainly unexpected, as the Swedish Royals rarely reply. And when they do, not everyone gets one.

It is my belief that a lot of the times well-wishers may be receiving is actually "leftover" cards. For events like birthdays, births, christenings, etc. the Swedish Palace creates a card to send out to important people (e.g. Family, Friends, Government Officials, etc.). Sometimes, we see these cards get shared on social media. So, we see they are the same type of cards sent to well-wishers. What I think happens is the Palace firsts sends out cards to important people and then, if they have any extras, they send them out to well-wishers. 

This is why, only some people get replies and why, when you get a reply, it is usually always months after the event (5 months in this case). And it explains why I could write, for example, for every Swedish Royal Baby since 2015 and only get one reply. 

This is my first birthday reply. I've written for quite a few birthdays over the years, including a number of milestone birthdays like this. 

The front of the card features Prince Carl Philip's monogram. It has interlocking CPs under a crown. 


The inside left side features a typed message in Swedish and English, along with a printed-on signature. The signature is the same one used in Prince Gabriel's christening card and Prince Carl Philip & Princess Sofia's wedding card.


The card reads:
I wish to extend my sincere gratitude for all the kindness and thoughtfulness shown to me on the occasion of my birthday. 

Carl Philp

The inside right side features a lovely photo of Prince Carl Philip. The photo was taken by Sara Friberg and is from the set released for his 40th birthday.

Sara Friberg/Kungl. Hovstaterna


The back of the card is blank, except for a photo credit.

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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Sample letters/cards - Illness/Injury

Here are some sample letters and cards to the Royals after an illness/injury. 

If you would like to submit your own letter/card, email me at gertsroyals@gmail.com or direct message me on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

I will pick a few of the best that represent a range of styles for the more formal to informal, personal, creative, long, short, etc. And I will remove any sensitive personal information like your address, last name, (first name too if you want), etc.

Sample 1: Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg 

I hand-wrote in "Dear Your Royal Highness,"  & "Yours Sincerely, Gertrude Daly."  My address at the bottom has been blacked out.



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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Princess Ingrid Alexandra of Norway - Confirmation Reply (2019)

A reply arrived today from Norway. I had written Princess Ingrid Alexandra in September for her confirmation.

I've written to the Norway Royals a number of times over the year. But this is my third reply from them. And my first since 2016! So, I am very excited & surprised to receive this.

The envelope looks pretty similar to my past replies from the Norway Royals. At the bottom, in red, it says "The Royal Court" in Norwegian. The back of the envelope is blank.


Inside is a letter and photo. The photo is from the set of photos taken before Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation. Princess Ingrid Alexandra is wearing a Bunad, Norwegian traditionally dress. Her grandmother, Queen Sonja, helped to design & make the dress.

Sadly, a little bit of the ink from the letter's signature got on to the photo.



The letter is written by Heidi Thingelstad, a senior secretary to the Royal Court.


The letter says: 
The Royal Court
Gertrude Alexandra Daly  
[My Address]


Your ref.:     Our ref.: 19/00574-130     File code: 552     Date:  30 September 2019
Dear Ms Daly,  
Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Prince and The Crown Princess have asked me to thank you for your king greeting and for the donation to The Rainforest Allicnce which you were so kind and send on the occasion of Her Royal Highness Princess Ingrid Alexandra's confirmation on 31 August 2019.  
The gift were very much appreciated.  
Yours sincerely, 

Heidi Thingelstad
Adviser
It's a lovely letter and it's always really special to get a personal message. As it mentions in the letter, I had made a donation to The Rainforest Alliance in Princess Ingrid Alexandra's name in honor of her confirmation. I had chosen the charity because of Princess Ingrid's commitment to the environment, which we saw highlighted during her confirmation. Her grandfather, King Harald also mentioned it in his speech at her confirmation luncheon:
Over the past 15 years you have developed into an insightful, knowledgeable, beautiful and sociable young woman, who cares deeply about people, animals and nature. 
The plantable seed paper that you have chosen to give your guests as a memento of this day says a great deal about you: Ever since you were a tiny girl, you have had a focus on the need to protect nature. I hope that commitment will follow you for the rest of your life. It also symbolises in a meaningful way that it takes time and care for a thing of beauty to germinate and blossom. In this case it is the summer flowers that are hidden in the seeds. Investing the necessary time and effort will lead to a rich harvest.
The "Your ref.: , Our ref.: 19/00574-130, File code: 552" is their way of recording letters in their system. I've seen things like this a few times before, like our Birthday Reply from King Philippe of Belgium in 2016. I don't know what the code means exactly, but the "19" at the beginning of "Our ref." likely refers to 2019. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Prince George - Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived from the UK. I had written to Prince William & Duchess Kate for Prince George's 6th birthday in July.

The front of the envelope is the usual from the British Royals and features a double postmark.



The back of the envelope features the Black Crown/Kensington Palace that is used by the Cambridges.



The reply is the usual card from Clarence House. The front of the card features a lovely photo of Prince George taken by Duchess Kate at Kensington Palace. The photo is part of the set released to mark his birthday.

 

The back of the card features the usual sort of typed message. 


The card reads: 
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge appreciated your kind thoughts in writing to Prince George on the occasion of his sixth birthday. This was most thoughtful of you and greatly appreciated by Their Royal Highnesses who send you their best wishes. 

Prince George's birthday replies are always extra special to me because I first wrote to the royals for Prince George's 1st birthday. It's nice to see how much Prince George has grown with every new birthday reply. Although, sadly, there was some error last year and I didn't get Prince George's 5th birthday reply.

Monday, October 7, 2019

Prince Charles - 50th Anniversary of Prince of Wales Investiture Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived today from the UK. I had written to Prince Charles back in June for the 50th Anniversary of his investiture as Prince of Wales. 

The envelope is the usual for the British Royals. This one features a double postmark. The red postmark is from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace, which processes all of the mail from the London Royal offices.

The black postmark is from the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre in London, which is one of the largest sorting offices. This where most of London's airmail gets sorted before flying out of Heathrow.

The balck postmark reads "National Poetry Day 3rd October" and ran for the few days before the UK's National Poetry Day. While I know It was just confidence, I think it's nice that Prince Charles's mail has poetry day postmark since he have a special reading for Poetry Day this year.


The back of the envelope features the red Prince of Wale feathers.


The reply is the usual from Clarence House, a photocard with a typed message on the back.

The front of the card features a lovely photo taken by Chris Jackson in May. The photo is part of a set taken at Highgrove House to mark the 25th anniversary of the Gardens being open to the public. I think it nice that they chose to use a photo highlighting another special anniversary.


The back of the card features, the Prince of Wales feathers and a typed message.


The card reads: 
The Prince of Wales was so touched that you took the trouble to write as you did on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of His Royal Highness's Investiture as The Prince of Wales.  

It really was so thoughtful of you and greatly appreciated by His Royal Highness who sends you his warmest thanks and very best wishes. 

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Sunday, October 6, 2019

Queen Paola of Belgium - Birthday Reply (2019)

A lovely reply arrived yesterday from Belgium. I had written to Queen Paola last month to wish her a happy birthday.

The front of the envelope is the usual sort we see from the Beligum Royals, although they do use a variety of envelopes. This envelope features a purple crown on the front with Belvédère written underneath. Belvédère Castle is King Albert & Queen Paola's official residence.

The back of the envelope is blank.


Inside is a typed card. The card is fairly similar to what we have seen from other Belgium Royals over the years but is different than Paola's past birthday replies. For the last few years, Paola has normally replied with a card written in the 1st person, and her signature printed on.


The card reads:
Her Majesty Queen Paola thanks you wholeheartedly 
for your kind message on the occasion of her 82nd birthday.

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Envelopes Used by the Belgium Royals

The Belgium Royals have a number of different envelopes that they use. Here is a list of some of the envelopes I have received.  The link at the end of the row takes you to a blog post where you can see an example of that envelope.

EnvelopeNotes Example
Front: Purple Crown, Palais de Bruxelles
Back: -
Used for mail from Brussels Palace Link
Front: -
Back: Tiny Purple Crown
- Link
Front: Red F/P&M monogram
Back: -
King Philippe & Queen Mathilde's joint monogram.
Mainly just used for their Christmas Reply
Link
Front: Purple Crown, Secretariat de la Reine
Back: -
Used by Queen Mathilde's office Link
Front: Purple Crown, Palais de Bruxelles with window
Back: -
Used for mail from Brussels Palace Link
Front: -
Back: Purple Crown, Belvédere with address
Inside: Purple tissue paper lining
Used for mail from Belvédere Castle Link
Front: -
Back: Dark Purple
Inside: Bright purple 
- Link
Front: Purple Crown, Belvédere
Back: - 
Used for mail from Belvédere Castle Link
Front: -
Back: -
White Extra Large envelope
- x
Front: -
Back: Red crown
White Extra Large envelope
- Link
Front: Red Crown
Back: - 
- Link
Front: -
Back: Red F/P&M monogram
King Philippe & Queen Mathilde's joint monogram.
Mainly just used for their Christmas Reply.
Link