Thursday, 27 April 2017

King Philippe of Belgium - Birthday Reply (2017)

Today I received a lovely reply from Belgium. I had written to King Philippe of Belgium earlier this month for his 57th Birthday.

The card is similar to Queen Mathilde's Birthday reply from this year & last year's, except her card was accompanied with a photo.

I did write to King Philippe last year for his birthday, but the reply I got wasn't exactly a birthday reply.

The message is in French, which is 1 of  Belgium's 3 official languages (Dutch, French, German). The message translates to:

"Palace of Brussels

The Majesty the King has received the kind wishes you have sent him on the occasion of his 57th Birthday.

The King would like to cordially thank you.

Brussels, April 2017"

Also Check out: 
Belgium Replies 
Other Replies

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

King & Queen of Norway's 80th Birthday Celebrations (May 9th-10th, 2017)

King Harald of Norway & Queen Sonja of Norway will both celebrate their 80th Birthday this year. Harald turned 80 on 21 February, and Queen Sonja will turn 80 on July 4th. 

To mark their 80th birthdays, there will be two days of official celebrations in Norway attended by a number of Foreign Royals. 

Tuesday, May 9
  • Gala Dinner at Royal Palace 
Wednesday, May 10th 
  • Lunch on Royal Yacht Norge
  • Banquet at Opera House
Royals Confirmed: I don't expect every Royal Family will send a representative to the events, but I think there is a good chance we will see a few more royal families than currently announced. The Palace will likely release a full guest list on the 8th or 9th. 
  • Denmark 
    • Queen Margrethe 
    • Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary
    • Prince Joachim & Princess Marie (just 10th)
  • Sweden 
    • King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia 
    • Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel
    • Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia

Last year, King Harald celebrated his Silver Jubilee (25th years on the throne). The celebration for that was also attended by Queen Margrethe of Denmark and King Carl Gustaf & Queen Silvia of Sweden. It looks like this birthday celebration will have a much bigger royal attendance.

Also Check Out:
Norway Royals - Main Page
King Harald's Silver Jubilee Celebration

Monday, 24 April 2017

Princess Eugenie of York & Princess Marie of Liechtenstein - Birthday Replies (2017)

I received 2 pieces of royal mail today, which made me very happy. I had been getting a little impatient as it had been over 3 weeks since I received my last reply.

Princess Eugenie of York

The first piece of mail is from Princess Eugenie of York. I had written to her in March for her birthday. The reply is fairly typical of what you see from the Yorks. 

Like usual the reply is written by Amanda Thirsk, Prince Andrew's Private Secretary. Both my 2015 & 2016 Birthday reply for Princess Eugenie came a bit earlier in April, but it's still a good response time for the Yorks. 

Princess Marie of Liechtenstein

The 2nd reply is from Princess Marie of Liechtenstein. Her husaband, Prince Hans-Adam II, is the ruler of Liechtenstein. But he offically steped down from the day to day decision making in 2004, making his son Heretary Prince Alois regent. I had written to her earlier this month for her 77th Birthday. We actually have the same birthday, April 14th. 

The reply is the same kind of card as my 2 other replies from Liechtenstein. Although the other two had "Dear Miss Daly" written above the message. The signature at the bottom reads "Marie Liechtenstein." I'm not sure if it's a real signature or an autopen.  I love the texture on the edge of the card. And the embossed coat of arms is really nice, you can really feel it stick out from the paper. I'm surprised by how detailed the embossing can get. Here is a better look at it. 

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Monday, 17 April 2017

British Royal Postmarks

**Be aware this is all international mail, postmarks will be a little different for mail sent to people inside the UK. Mainly it will lack the airmail stamp, and may be sent 2nd class.**

For many of you, the red Buckingham Palace Postmark is instantly recognizable. But what does it mean? And why don't all Royal Offices have their own Postmark?

Most of the time, when you write to a British Royal, one of the last stops before your letter arrives at their office is the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace. The Court Post Office is run by the Royal Mail and is separate from the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace. The Court Post Office receives all the mail for the Royal Offices & Households in that area. After running additional security checks, the post office will sort the mail and deliver it to the correct office.

It is then the Royal Mail's job to collected all of the office's outgoing mail and take it back to the Court Post Office. It is there that the outgoing mail is franked (stamped with the postage and postmark). This is why all of the Royal Mail from London has Buckingham Palace on the postmark, because that is the name of the Post Office where it is processed. The mail will then be sorted, and sent out to be delivered.

Since 2001, the Sovereign Grant has paid for the Royal's postage. Previously, the service was provided for free by the Royal Mail.

Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace

There is one main postmark that is stamped on most of the Royal Mail that is processed through the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace. This includes letter from Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, St. James Palace, Kensington Palace, occasionally other Royal Residences outside of London (Windsor, Birkhall, etc.)

Air Mail Stamped  

Air Mail Sticker

Double Postmark

Occasionally, you will get a reply that has the typical Buckingham Palace postmark and another Postmark. I'm pretty sure this is just accidental and done when the mail is taken to the next post office on it's route to you. The Mount Pleasant Mail Centre (as seen on the postmark) is London's largest sorting center and a lot of London's international mail is sorted through that center before heading to the Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre.

Occasionally, you will see them use a stamp on their envelopes. This is usually done to mark special occasions and is only used on mail sent out during a few days. And I believe only done on mail to people in the UK.

You may also see special postmarks for the organizations that have offices at one of the Royal Buildings, that is being processed through this office.

Court Post Office at Windsor Castle 

The other year-round Court Post Office is at Windsor Castle, which handles mail for the Royal Residences in that area (Windsor Castle, Royal Lodge, etc.). Although I have seen people get mail from Windsor Castle with the Buckingham Palace Postmark. Windsor Castle is the Queen's weekend residences. She also spends her Easter Holiday there. 

The other Royal Residences don't have their own full-time Post Office. I'm not entirely sure the details on how their mail is processed. Some of them will just have their mail taken to London and dealt with the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace. Others have their own Franking Machine to stamp the envelopes, and then they will just deliver it to their local post office.

Sandringham House
Used for Sandringham House

I know in the past, the Royal Mail set up a temporary post office on the Sandringham estate when the Queen is in residence. Don't know if they still do that. 

Used for Bagshot Park

Also Check Out:
Writing to the Royals

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Princess Eugenie of York - Patronages

Global Ambassador (2007?-present)

Children in Crisis is a UK based charity that works to provided a quality education to children in poor, or conflicted countries. The organization mainly works in Asia and Africa.  They work to make quality education accessible to all children

The Charity also provides support to the families, through adult literacy, health education and maternal health programs. As well as working with communities to create sustained change. 

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital's Charity Appeal 

Patron (2012-Present)

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital is one of the leading specialist orthopaedic hospitals in the world. Prince Andrew, Eugenie's father, is Parton of the Hospital. Princess Eugenie was a patient at the hospital in 2002, age 12. Eugenie underwent back surgery to correct scoliosis.

In 2012 Princess Eugenie became patron of the hospital's redevelopment appeal to build a new state of the art facilities on the existing 100-year-old site. The new NHS orthopaedic hospital is expected to be fully operational by 2018.

Patron  (2016 - Present)

Elephant Family is an animal conservation charity founded in 2002. The Duchess of Cornwall's brother Mark Shand co-founded the charity.  Elephant Family works to protect endangered Asian elephants, with conservation projects across Asia. The Charity works to secure elephant and wildlife habitats, reduce human-elephant conflicts and promotes education programs in the UK about these endangered elephants.

Duchess Camilla and Prince Charles become Joint President of Elephant Family after the death of Camilla's brother Mark Shand, although they had supported the charity numerous times in the years previous. 

Camilla's sister Annabelle, & Eugenie's Mother, Duchess Sarah, are also Patrons of the charity. 

Patron (2016 - Present)

The Teenage Cancer Trust is a UK based charity. The charity works to help provide life-changing care for teens with cancer. They have 28 specialty cancer units with expert staff in NHS hospitals. They also provide these teen and their families support. Teenage Cancer Trust helps fund a portfolio of cancer research and policy. 

Duchess Sarah and Princess Eugenie are also patrons of the organization. 

Royal Patron (2016 - Present)

The Print Room at the Coronet is a small Theater and performance space in Notting Hill. Originally the theater had been located in a former print warehouse, before moving it's current location. 

Be Inspired Art Auction
Patron (2017) 

Be Inspired is a contemporary art auction in support of the charity Children & the Arts, taking place at the auction house Christie’s March 8th & online April 4-13.

European School of Osteopathy
Royal Patron (2017 - Present)

The European School of Osteopathy is a school for osteopathic medicine at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Osteopathic medicine is a type of alternative medicine that emphasizes massage and other physical manipulation of muscle tissue and bones.

The school is working to ensure osteopathic care is available and affordable for the whole community.

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