This is likely the last reply I am going to receive for Christmas 2019. I got 17 Christmas replies this year, which is one less than the last 3 years.
The front of the envelope is usual from the British Royals, and features the postmark from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace.
The back of the envelope features the Blue Crown with H&M monogram that the couple started using on their mail for well-wishers last year.
Inside is a new version of the usual "Photo card," except this doesn't feature a photo. This is the Sussexes's 4th version of their photocard in recent years.
The front of the card features the Sussexes's join monogram, an H&M under the coronet of the child of the Heir Apparent. This coronet is used on both the Sussexes & Cambridges coat of arms.
The message is pretty generic and doesn't mention Christmas specifically. This was either done because of the long delay in printing the cards, due to the redesign & The Sussexes being out of the country or to allow the cards to be used for none Christmas related events.
The card reads:
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were extremely touched by your message and send their very best wishes for the year ahead.The message is interesting. The message on the photocards is usually two sentences. The first sentence has their title and thanks to you for writing for that occasion. The 2nd sentence usually extends "His/Her/Their Royal Highness/es" best wishes to you. So, it looks like they combined the two sentences in one to avoid using "Their Royal Highness," as the couple agreed to stop using that.
It is also a little sad to see that Archie was not included in the Christmas message like the Cambridges do with their kids.
The Sussexes mail has always been and will continue to be answered by the Correspondence Section at Clarence House. (I will update you if/when that changes.) I have gotten a lot of questions over the last few months about how things are going to change, now that the Sussexes are stepping down. We know Clarence House is still handling their mail and will do so for the foreseeable future. And in that respect I expect things to continue a lot like they have, as that is just easiest for Clarence House. (But we have to wait and see.)
I wouldn't be surprised if we see this Monogram on Front redesign continues for the Sussexes. Clarence House has gone through a number of cost-cutting measures over the last few years. And removing the photo from the front of the card and the glossy finish saves a significant amount of ink/money.
Clarence House has also gotten more selective about what it replies to. They decided last year to stop replying for unimportant wedding anniversaries and other insignificant things people write for. The reason is because they received HUGE increases in mail.
Letters/Card Clarence House received in:
(Years reflect the end of the financial year, April 1st -March 31st)They had to draw the line as some people were writing a dozen times a year to each royal for every little thing they could think of. So, I would expect replies for Christmas, Birthdays, Milestone Anniversaries and other significant life events. But, you may not get a reply for Easter, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Trooping the Colours, New patronage, New project, etc.
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