Thursday, May 20, 2021

Condolence Reply from Princess Anne for Death of Prince Philip (2021)

A lovely, but sad reply arrived today from the UK. I had written to Princess Anne & Sir Tim to express my deepest condolences following the death of Prince Philip. This is the first condolence reply I have received following Philip's death. 

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

The back of the envelope is blank, which is what we have seen from Princess Anne since her office switched from ending letters to flat cards last year.  
Inside is a flat card with a typed message. The card has a black border, with is a mourning tradition popularized in the Victorian Era. I have always found the black mourning border to be very lovely. The top of the card features Princess Anne's monogram, an "A" under the Coronet of the Child of the Sovereign. This same coronet is used on Princess Anne's Coat of Arms. 

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

The message is pretty generic and makes no specific mention to Prince Philip. 

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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Duke of Kent - 85th Birthday (2020)

A lovely reply arrived in January from the UK. I had written to the Duke of Kent for his 85th Birthday in October. 

I usually only write to the Queen's cousins for their milestone birthdays. And as such this is only the 3rd reply I have from the Duke. The first was from his 80th Birthday in 2015. The 2nd from his 2017 illness

What is most interesting about the envelope is it doesn't have the usual postmark from the Court Post office at Buckingham Palace. Although, it is still franked with the Sovereign Grant's PPI number W4047. This would indicate this was NOT sent from one of the London Royal Residences, as all their mail collected and processed through the Court Post Office, and would be franked with that postmark. 

International Mail is usually routed from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace to the Mount Pleasant Mail Center in Central London and then to Heathrow Airport. However, the 2nd Postmark in black shows that this piece of mail was instead processed through the Croydon Mail Centre, which is way south of Central London. This makes me think that the letter did not in fact come from the Duke of Kent's office at St. James's Palace, but instead, sent from a staff member's home near Croydon as they were working from home. 

Inside is a letter from Mrs. Gill Pearson, The Duke of Kent's Personal Assistant. The letter is written on a half-sheet of paper. Past replies from the Duke were printed on nice stationery with his embossed badge and info at the top of the page. Instead, this is simply printed on printer paper with a grainy image of his badge hat was also printed on. I think that is another result of The Duke's assistant working from home, and maybe not having access to his nice stationery. 

The Letter says: 
The Office of HRH The Duke of Kent
St. James's Palace
London SW1A 1BQ
Miss Gertrude Daly 
[My Address] 
Dear Miss Daly,  
His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent thanks you for sending good wishes on the occasion of His Royal Highness's 85th Birthday.  
Your thoughtfulness is much appreciated.  
Yours sincerely, 
G. M. Pearson 
Mrs. Gill Pearson
Personal Assistant to H.R.H The Duke of Kent K.G.
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Duke of Kent - Illness Reply (2017)

I received this reply back in 2017 but never made a blog post about it. I had written to the Duke of Kent after he had canceled a week's worth of official engagements due to a chest infection. 

The Envelope is the usual from the British Royals. It features the old postmark for the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace (in red). This envelope was double postmarked, as it was stamped again when it was processed through the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre in London. Almost all international mail from the London area is processed through that center before being taken to Heathrow Airport. The 2nd postmark says "Royal Mail proud to support Stroke Association." Stroke Association was the Royal Mail's charity partner and their "Charity of the Year" for September 2014-May 2017. This postmark is used over that 2.5 year period to raise awareness for the cause. 

Inside is a letter from Nicholas Marden, who was the Duke's Private Secretary from 2011-2018.  


The Letter says:

Dear Miss Daly, 

I am writing to thank you for your letter of 9th March and for the very kind wishes sent to His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent following his recent illness. 

Yours Ever, 

Nicolas Marden 
Private Secretary of HRH The Duke of Kent

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Duke of Kent - 80th Birthday (2015)

I got this reply back in 2015, but I never made a blog post about it. I had written to the Duke of Kent for his 80th Birthday. This was my first reply from the Duke of Kent.

The envelope is the usual from the British Royals at the time. You will notice though that this uses the older postmark with the old EIIR Design and old W7047 PPI number for the Sovereign Grant. The back of the envelope is blank. 

Inside is a letter from the Duke's then Private Secretary Nicholas Marden. Marden retired in 2018. The letter features The Duke of Kent's Badge at the top along with the address for his office. 

The Telephone and Fax (Facsimile) numbers are for the Public Information Office at Buckingham Palace. (I am not sure they still use the fax number as it is no longer listed on the Royal Website.) 

The letter says: 

20 October 2015 

Dear Miss Daly, 

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent has asked me to thank you for your thoughtful letter sent to him on the occasion of his eightieth birthday. 

He sends you his best wishes. 

Yours Sincerely,


Nicolas Marden 

Private Secretary to HRH The Duke of Kent

If we take a close look at the badge, you will see some elements that may remind you of other badges. The center has an E for Edward, the Duke's first name. Surrounding that is the Order of Garter Belt, with the orders' motto "Honi Soit Qui Maly Pense," which is Middle French for "Shame on him who thinks evil of it." The top is the Coronet of the child of a son of a sovereign. The Duke of Kent is the son of Prince George, Duke of Kent, who was the son of King George V. This coronet is also used on the York Princess's Monogram. The Cambridges and Sussexes use a different coronet as a child of an heir apparent. 

Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla - Christmas Reply (2020)

This reply arrived in February. I had written to Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla to wish them a Merry Christmas.  

The envelope is the usual from the British Royals with the postmark from the court post office at Buckingham Palace. 

The back of the envelope features the Prince of Wales feathers. For joint replies from a couple, the British Royals usually use the stationary of the more senior/blood royal. 

Inside is a letter from Claudia Spens, head of the Correspondence Section at Clarence House. 

The letter says: 
Dear Miss Daly, 

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall have asked me to thank you for your letter of 22nd December.  
It was most kind of you to write as you did, particularly with such supportive words for the work undertaken by Their Royal Highnesses throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Prince of Wales was touched by your kind message of congratulations, which you have sent on the 10th anniversary of the Campaign for Wool. 

Their Royal Highnesses greatly appreciated your thoughtful Christmas greetings and they have asked me to send you their warmest thanks and very best wishes for the new year. 

Yours sincerely, 
Claudia Spens