Thursday, 20 September 2018

Prince Charles 70th Birthday Celebrations

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May 
22nd
  • Garden Party for Prince Charles' charities
    • Attending: Charles, Camilla, Harry, Meghan
October
22nd
  • "We Are Most Amused And Amazed” Comedy Gala for The Prince's Trust 
    • Attending: Charles, Camilla
    • Rumored: William, Kate
25th
  • Dinner & Concert at Buckingham Palace
    • Attending: Charles, Camilla
    • Rumored: William, Kate
November
14th
  • Prince Charles's Birthday
  • Party hosted by the Queen at Buckingham Palace (Rumored)


Friday, 31 August 2018

September Q&A (2018)

As always, post your Royal Questions & I will get to them as soon as possible.

Question 1: I know it's early but I have been thinking about Christmas cards. When you write the Yorks do you send two separate cards, one to the Duke and his daughters, and one to Sarah, Duchess of York? How do you address the letters for the address on the envelope? Something like "The Duke of York and family"? What is the address for Sarah vs. the rest of the family?

Answer: For Christmas and such, I usually just mention one person (or a couple) on my envelope and then say in my letter that I am sending my Christmas wishes to "you and your family."

For the Yorks, I usually send one letter to Andrew and one to Sarah, and I say in my letter "you and your family." That way you kind of sidestep the whole divorced, yet close awkwardness. It's not specifically referring to their ex, but also not excluding them either.

The Address for Prince Andrew's office is:

Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA
UNITED KINGDOM

Mail for Duchess Sarah should be addressed to Duke of York's Office at Buckingham Palace. They will then forward the mail on to Sarah.

You can address Andrew on your envelope as,
Duke of York
HRH Duke of York
Prince Andrew
etc.

& Sarah as,
Duchess Sarah
Sarah, Duchess of York
Sarah Fergason
etc.

Question 2: Did you sent a letter to congratulate Harry and Meghan in the occasion of their wedding? 

Answer: Yes, but I haven't gotten a reply yet.

Question 3: When you sent a letter to Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall? 

Answer: I'm a little confused by your question... If you asking about when I sent my letter to Camilla for her birthday, I wrote in early July.

If you are asking about what occasions I usually write to Camilla, I usually write for her birthday and to her and Charles for Christmas.

Question 4: Do you write to everyone on your calendar? I do not think you're the kind of person who stops sending letters because you don't receive a reply. But for example, do you write for the birthday of Princess Martha Louise of Norway? I'd like to know who you write for.

Answer: I don't write to everyone on our calendar. I'm way too lazy and busy to send out that many letters. I write to the royals I particularly like and care about. Some of whom I know won't respond. And there are plenty of royals with birthdays each month, who I know will respond and who may have very lovely replies, but I just don't care enough about them to write for their birthday.

I don't just write because I can, but because I honestly want to wish them a happy birthday. I think one's letter should have some meaning.

I don't write for Princess Martha Louise's birthday. I like her, but she's not a working royal and she's not one of my favourites. I think the only time I've written to her was to say how sorry I was to hear about her divorce a few years ago.

Question 5: What do you think about asking for photos? Did you ever ask?

Answer: I never ask for a photo. I don't think it's rude rude, but it's not why I write. I write for some occasion to send the royal birthday wishes or congratulations, etc. because I honestly mean it, not because I want a photo or a nice reply.

I do know there are some royals who will send a photo if you ask but don't if you don't ask. And there is a little part of me that is jealous to see other people get a photo. But that's not why I write. I don't ever ask for anything in my letters.


Question 6: Have you got an address HRH Prince Michael of Kent?

Answer: All of the Royal address have been moved to our new site, Gert's Royal Replies.

The Address for Prince Michael of Kent is:

Kensington Palace
London W8 4PU
UNITED KINGDOM 

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

August Q&A (2018)

As always, post your Royal Questions & I will get to them as soon as possible.

Question 1: For which kind of events would be appropriate to send a letter to Miss Rebecca Deacon? 

Answer: Mrs. Rebecca Priestley (née Deacon) hasn't worked for the Royals in about a year. But in terms of writing to a member of staff in general:

If you just want to send well-wishes or something to the Royals I would address it to the royals, that way it goes directly to whoever handles general correspondences.

I would only write to a specific member of staff if you have something that specifically concerns/relates to them or their job. And is not something for general correspondence. The main reasons to write to a member of staff is:
  • If you are a charity or organization inviting the royals to come for a visit
  • If you are a charity asking the Royal to consider becoming your patron
  • You are media requesting an interview
  • etc.
Royal.UK also has some info on its site about contacting various departments

In terms of what else you could write for, I would keep it work related. You are writing to them at their job. 

I wrote to the Cambridge staff in 2015 when Princess Charlotte was born to congratulate them on a job well done with everything surrounding the birth. And I received a reply from Rebecca. But other times I think I've just mentioned things in my letter to the Royals. Like with William's birthday this year, I said something like: "I hope that everything runs smoothly as you and Harry get new private secretaries this summer."

But if you are wondering if you can write for a certain assistant's pregnancy? It's not anything I would write for, personally. But if you want to, they aren't going to be insulted, you just won't get a reply. 

Question 2: How to write a letter to the Swedish Royal Family. What are the answers and what does it depend on?

Answer: For specific advice on writing to the Royals check out your page on "Writing to the Royals." There isn't anything special you need to do for the Swedish Royals opposed to the other royal families. The Swedish Royals just don't normally send replies. And they don't have set things they reply to. Nor do they reply to everyone who wrote for that occasion.

For our Replies from the Swedish Royals.

Question 3: Have you ever received a letter as a reply for Cammila's birthday together with a photocard or she sends only photocards?

Answer: I've just received photocards for Camilla's birthday. But unlike Charles, Cambs, & Sussexs, she usually replies with a large card which she has personally signed.

I have gotten a letter from Camilla before when I wrote to her when she will ill and had to cancel some engagements.

You can find all my replies from Camilla & Charles here.

Question 4: Which Royal Family send auto-pen? 

Answer: Pretty much anytime you see a signature it usually auto-penned or printed on. Very few royals take the time to hand-sign things. They just get way too much mail.

I've gotten autopen or printed on signatures from:

Belgium
Liechtenstein
Monaco
UK
Spain
Sweden

And the other royal families I just haven't gotten any Royal signatures.

Question 5: How to get a more personal reply? 

Answer: There is nothing you can do to guarantee a personal reply. But if write a personal letter/card, you are more likely to get a personal reply.

For example, if you write for a royal's birthday and all you say in your letter/card is "Happy Birthday Your Royal Highness," They are likely going to send you the generic reply, be your thing was pretty generic.

But if you say "Happy Birthday Your Royal Highness," and then go one and talk about how that royals work on that one cause is really meaningful to you, etc. Then maybe you will get a more personal reply that thanks you for writing to the royal's birthday and your well-wishes for their cause, etc.

But, as I said there is no way to guarantee a personal reply. They get way to much mail to personally reply to everybody. So, some royals just never send a personal reply. Others will do it for a few letters/cards.

Question 6: Did you ever write to Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands? 

Answer: I have written to her a few times over the years, all post-abdication. I've never gotten any reply from her.

Question 7: Have you ever written to Queen Letizia of Spain? 

Answer: Yes, a few times, for her birthday and stuff. The only time I've gotten a reply from Letizia was when I wrote to her and Felipe for Christmas last year.

Question 8: What member of the British Royal Family uses autopens?  

Answer: Sarah does. 

Question 9: Is there a chance to get a reply by the new address of Norwegian Royal Family? 

Answer: I don't think the chances of getting a royal for the Norway Royals have gone up any. But there has always been a small chance of getting a reply. I've gotten two over the years. 

Question 10: Do you usually send letters to Liechtenstein? 

Answer: Yes. I've written to them a number of times over the years. You can see their replies here

Question 11: Why do you think the Royal Family from Denmark does not send pictures?

Answer: Photos are relatively expensive. Sure one photo doesn't cost a lot, but when you receive thousands of pieces of mail a year it adds up. I lot of Royals don't send photos or will only do so if asked specifically. 

Denmark tends to be on the cheaper side of royal replies: generic replies, nothing special for Christmas or big events, etc. They have gotten better over the years though. They switched from sending mail economy to priority and they recently changed their card to nicer paper. 

Question 12: Did you ever sent a letter to Jordan?

Answer: I have written a few times to the Jordan royals, but have never gotten a reply. 

Question 13: Did you ever write to Princess Marie Astrid from Austria or to her family? 

Answer:  No

Question 14: This is probably a weird question, but why the blankets in the car? Do they not have heaters? 

Answer: I don't know why exactly the Queen likes to use a blanket in the car. I could just be becuase the Queen is wearing a dress and jacket, so she's warm on top but her legs are cold. She might just like blankets.

Question 15: Do you think that Crown Princess Mary would send me a picture if I asked her politely in my letter. I know that Denmark does not usually send pictures, but are there any chances?  

Answer: The Denmark Royals don't send out photos. It doesn't matter how politely you ask it is just not something that they do. I've never seen a photo from the Denmark Royals (other than the card for Princess Benedikte's husband's death, but that was more from the Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg side of the family).

Question 16: Would it be appropriate to send a letter to The Duke of Cambridge or to the Duke of Sussex, for the Diana anniversary?


Answer: Certainly if this is something meaningful to you it would be appropriate to write. If you were just writing for the Anniversary I would probably address the letter to both sons. 

Or alternatively if you were writing for Prince Harry's birthday, it would be fine to mention Diana in that letter. 

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Prince Philip - Birthday Reply (2018)



A letter arrived from the UK this week. I had written to Prince Philip last month to wish him a happy 97th birthday.

The envelope is the usual, with Prince Philip's Cypher on the back. You will notice that my address is printed on a sticker, that was then placed on the envelope. You will see this from time to time, mostly when envelopes are pre-stuffed with generic replies that can be sent to anyone who wrote for that occasion. 


The envelope also features an accidental 2nd postmark, this time at the bottom of the letter. This postmark celebrates the Golden Man Booker Prize given to Michael Ondaatje's book The English Patient (published in 1992.) The Golden Man Booker Prize is a 1-time special award given to celebrate of the Man Booker Prize's 50th Anniversary. The Golden Man Booker Prize looked at every Man Booker Prize winner, over the award's 50-year history, to choose the best work of fiction. 

The reply is the usual form letter from Prince Philip's office. The birthday message changes slightly year to year. This year's message is identical to his birthday reply in 2015.


What is interesting about this is it is signed by Suzy Lethbridge, Prince Philip's Correspondence Secretary. Previously every birthday reply I had received from Prince Philip had been sent by an Assistant Equerry. However, after Philip's retirement last summer, Prince Philip handed down his Assistant Equerry to his son, Prince Andrew. 

The address, telephone number and fax are the general numbers for Buckingham Palace.

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Prince William - Birthday Reply (2018)

A reply arrived from the UK this week. I had written to Prince William last month for his 36th birthday.

The envelope is the usual thing. Red postmark from the Court Post Office at Buckingham Palace. It then got an accidental 2nd postmark when it was taken to the Mount Pleasant Mail Centre. The 2nd postmark reads: "Art Fund, Museum of the Year 2018 Finalist, Tate St Ives."



Some of you have asked if they have changed their envelope, as it appears to be lighter and not so thick. They definitely have. The new envelope (on the far right in the photo below) is by Premium Business (the name is printed on the inside of the envelopes). The Premium Business brand envelopes have a different flap on the back and are made of lighter/thinner paper than the old envelopes. (The Premium Business envelopes seem like a cheaper option, but still pretty nice.)

William, Kate & Harry changed their envelopes in 2016 as well. You can see the two previous envelopes (both by the same brand) on the left in the photo below. The main change was a slight difference in paper color and they switched from William, Kate & Harry each using their own colored monogram, to the black Kensington Palace Monogram for all 3, (which again was likely done to cut costs). William, Kate, Harry & Meghan do all still have their colored stationary which is going to be used them and their office at Kensington Palace for official things, but not the correspondence section at Clarence House which answers their mail from well-wishers.

A look at the postcard-sized photo reply envelopes from 2015-2018

The reply is the usual from Clarence House, a postcard-sized photo, with a typed message on the back. The photo is the same one from last year, from Prince William's British GQ spread. It is very common for them to reuse photos from a few years.




I saw on social media someone comment that the card seems thicker. It doesn't seem any thicker than what we've seen in the last 2 years. But in 2016, they did change to a little thicker paper for the cards which I think is nicer and maybe a bit more expensive.

And as we are talking about their changes in mail over the years, I would also guess that the decision in 2017 to start using a white border for the photo replies was to cut costs. It uses a lot less ink. I know with postcards during WWI, they started using a similar white border around the edges and used 20% less ink.


I did look into what the little FSC box at the bottom of every card is. And that FSC symbol shows that this company and product has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. the Forest Stewardship Council promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. Prince Charles, in fact, owns an FSC-certified forest at Highgrove in Gloucestershire.

This card is marked as "Mix," meaning that part of the paper comes from a sustainable forest, and part from a non-sustainable (but still ethically and responsible managed) forest. And that the Forest Stewardship Council has certified all this.

I was able to track the FSC certification number on the bottom of the cards. It changes over the years, more for administrative reasons (e.g. company changed address), but the cards have always been printed by the same company (at least since I started writing in 2015). The company is Clarendon Press Gloucestershire, which is located about 20 mins away from Highgrove. I have no idea if any of the paper used in the cards, originally came from Highgrove's sustainable forest, but I think it would be pretty cool if it did. 

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I'm sure many of you are about to freak out because you haven't gotten your reply for Louis' Birth, Sussex's Wedding, etc yet. Don't worry! Neither have I. It takes them time to reply to everyone. It's not unusual for people to write for the same thing and get replies months apart. Or for Clarence House to reply to things out of order.

And given that the Royals take August off, You might not get a reply until September (... or later)!

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