Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Princess Anne & Sir Tim- Christmas Reply (2020)

A lovely reply arrived from the UK last month. I had written to Princess Anne & Sir Tim to wish them a Merry Christmas. 

The front of the envelope has my address handwritten, with the usual postmark from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace. Princess Anne's envelopes used to be all typed. But since she switched to the generic replies, the envelopes have been handwritten. 

Inside is a photo card similar to the ones used by Clarence House. This is the first time I have gotten a photo card like this from Princess Anne. I think it is likely we will see more of this in the future from her. As it is easier to have a completely generic reply that you can send to everyone, opposed to having to write more personal letters. 

The photo on the front of the card is the same one used for Princess Anne's 70th Birthday card. This photo was never officially released by the Palace, but was likely taken at the same time as the photos released on her 70th birthday, also taken by John Swannell.
The back of the card features Princess Anne's Monogram along with a typed message. This is the first Christmas reply I have received from Anne that did not include her husband. It is likely because this is a generic reply and a lot of people would have only written to her for Christmas. 

The card says:
The Princess Royal appreciated your kind thoughts and sends you her thanks and best wishes for the future.  

Back to Replies - Main Page 

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Personal Information Request from British Royals (2020)

We have known for years, that the British Royals have a database in which they store people's information. They mention this on the Privacy Policy on Royal.UK. And one of the things I have seen from the British Royals and other royal families is replies getting sent to my old address, meaning they have to be storing my address in their database. I was curious as to what exactly and how much personal information was being stored. So, as outlined on their Privacy Policy, as they are required by law, I wrote a letter to the Data Protection Manager asking for a copy of my personal information. 

This is the reply I received. 

Note: Black are things they redacted. Blue are things I redacted. 

The Letter says: 

Dear Miss Daly, 

Thank you for your hardcopy letter dated 20 July 2020 in which you requested your personal information. Unfortunately, I only received your letter on 15 January 2021 due to the COVID-19 lockdown. I apologise for my late reply. I have processed your request and enclosed the results. 

Please note, I have redacted information from these documents which does not constitute your own personal data. Thus, information which relates to third parties and information which references the internal operations of the Household have been redacted. This is normal practice when an organisation responds to a subject access request made under the UK's Data Protection Act 2018. 

In addition to the enclosed information, we have on file our organization's responses to your letters. I have not included copies of those as you will have already received them. However, if you would like copies of these correspondences, please let me know and I will send those to you. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know in the first instance. My email address is [I redacted that]

If you are dissatisfied with the response to your request, under the protection policy of the Royal Household you have a right to complain to The Keeper of the Privy Purse. Under the Data Protection Act 2018, you also have a right to complain to the Information Commissioner's office. They can be contacted through their website: or their helpline on 0303 123 1113, or in writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. 

Yours Sincerely, 

[Signature of someone]

(PP) Catherine Leonard

"PP" Stands for "Per procurationem," which means the letter was signed on a person's behalf.  Catherine Leonard is The Palace's Data Protection Manager, so she is technically the one sending the letter, but it was actually signed & sent on her behalf by another staff member. 

In terms of my actual personal information, there was not a lot being stored. It was just my name, addresses (current and past), and blog web address. There were other personal details that were included in the description of each letter I sent. 

With that is a list of the letters I had written to the Royals. I noticed it does not include all of the letters I have sent. There were a number that were missing, likely because that office did not take the time to enter my letter into their database. There are also some entries where they say a reply was sent, but I never received a reply. 

Member of the Royal Family (MRF) initials
  • The Queen (Q)
  • Prince Charles (POW), Duchess Camilla (DOC), Wales (POWDOC)
  • Prince William (PW), Duchess Kate (DSSOC), The Cambridges (DDSSOC), Prince George (PG)
  • Prince Harry (PH), Duchess Meghan (DSSOS), The Sussexes (DDSSOS), Archie (AMW)
  • Prince Edward (EW), Countess Sophie (CW), The Wessexes (ECW)
  • Princess Anne (PSSR)
  • Prince Andrew (DOY)
  • Duke of Kent (DOK)
The list did not include the letter sent to Prince Philip, Princess Beatrice & Princess Eugenie (even though their mail was answered by Andrew's office), Queen's Cousins (except for one letter to Duke of Kent),  Duchess Sarah (which is as expected, as they just forward on her mail.)

I also noticed letter for Duchess Camilla that were handled by her personal staff because Camilla was personally signing the card/letter, were not included in the database. 

Below is not the full list, but rather a section of each page, so you can see the type of information stored in their database. Some of the descriptions contained personal informatiton I had mentioned in my letter, like Birthday, Age, University I had attended, Job, etc. (Though those parts are not shown below.)

Details on how to request your own personal information from the Palace can be found on their Privacy Policy. I was curious as to what personal information was being stored. And now we know, they store your name, address, and what you wrote in your letter/card. If that is something you feel you need to know, you can request it. But let's not spam them with 100 requests as you will likely just find out the same thing, they are storing your name, address and what you wrote in your letter. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

King Philippe & Queen Mathilde of Belgium - Christmas Reply (2020)

A lovely reply arrived from Belgium last month. I had written to King Philippe & Queen Mathilde in December to wish them a Merry Christmas.

The Belgium Royals have a number of different envelopes that they use. This is a new envelope, that I've never gotten before, although it is similar to the ones I have received for past Christmas replies. The front of the envelope is pretty plain. 

The back of the envelope features the couple's joint monogram. I rather like that they have changed the design to feature the monogram on the back of the envelope. This prevents the monogram from being covered by a postmark. 

Inside is the couple's usual christmas card. The front of the card features the couple's joint monogram along with a red border. The M in the Monogram is for Mathilde. The F & P are for Filip/Philippe/Philipp the King's name in Dutch, French and German (Belgium's 3 official languages.)

The inside of the card has message and a family photo. The message is in Belgium's 3 official language, Dutch, French, German and English. The signatures are printed on and are the same ones we have seen on their Christmas cards in the past. 

The cards says: 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Philippe Mathilde 
Elisabeth, Gabriel, Emmanuel, Eleonore

The photo was taken by Michel Gronemberger, who has photographed the Belgium Royal Family on numerous occasions.