Monday, 16 October 2017

Cambridge 3rd Child & Prince Harry's Birthday Reply (2017)

Two Replies came today, both of them from the UK.

The Cambridges

I had written to the Cambridge last month to congratulate them on the wonderful news that they are expecting their 3rd child! The reply is their usual postcard size photo with typed message on the back.

The photo is from a year ago on the Cambridge's Tour of Canada. It is the same photo as they used in their 2016 Christmas reply, except the Christmas reply did not have a white border.

The message is the same as their reply for the announcement of their 2nd pregnancy, except for the obvious change of 2nd child to 3rd.

I can't wait for the new little Cambridge Addition!!!

Prince Harry

My 2nd reply is also from the UK. I had written to Prince Harry last month for his 33rd Birthday. I got a letter instead of the usual photo reply, which happened last year as well.

It's always nice to get a thoughtful letter, mentioning specific things I wrote about, but I would have loved to get the photo card of Prince Harry. 

We have started making our 2018 "Writing to the Royals for Christmas" guide. I should be up November 1st, so look out for that. Let us know if there is anything special you want to see. 

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Friday, 13 October 2017

King Bhumibol Adulyadej Cremation Ceremonies

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King Bhumibol of Thailand passed away last year on October 13th, 2016, at age 88 after a long illness. King Bhumibol was the longest-reigning living monarch at the time.

There will be 5 days of Offical Cremation Ceremonies for King Bhumibol of Thailand, October 25th-29th. The main Cremation Ceremony will take place on October 26th, and will be attended by royals from around the world. 

Royals attending: (Just 26th, unless otherwise noted)
  • Thailand Royal family
  • Queen Mathilde of Belgium 
  • Kinh Jigme & Queen Jetsun of Bhutan (25th-27th)
    • Attended the Lying in State last year
  • Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
  • Prince Akishino & Princess Kiko of Japan (26th-27th)
  • King Letsie III & Queen Masenate of  Lesotho
  • Princess Margaretha of Liechtenstein 
  • Hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume of Luxembourg
  • Queen Máxima of Netherlands
  • Crown Prince Haakon of Norway 
  • Nazrin Shah, Sultan of Perak & Tuanku, Raja Permaisuri of Perak
  • Queen Sofia of Spain 
  • Queen Silvia of Sweden 
  • King Tupou VI & Queen Nanasipau’u of Tonga
  • Prince Andrew of UK
October 25th
  • Final night vigil service at the Royal Urn and Coffin in the Dusit Maha Phasat Throne Hall of the Grand Palace, where the King's body has been Lying-in-State in the Coffin for the past year. 
    • (5:30 PM)
October 26th
  • The Royal Urn is moved from Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall to the Royal Crematorium.
    • (7 AM)
  • Funeral procession from the Dusit Maha Phasat Throne Hall to the Royal Crematorium at the Sanam Luang Royal Plaza
    • Procession 1 (30 mins)
    • Procession 2 (2 hours)
    • Procession 3 (30 mins)
  • Symbolic royal cremation performed by his son, King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun
    • (5:30 PM)
  • Festivals to mark the ending of an official mourning period begin (outdoor Khon performances, puppet show and musical concert)
    • (6  PM)
  • Royal cremation proper
    • (10:00 PM)
October 27th
  • Festivals to mark the ending of an official mourning period end
    • (6 AM)
  • Removal of the Royal Ashes and Relics from the crematorium. 
    • Royal Relics are transferred to Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall in the Grand Palace.  Royal Ashes are transferred to Phra Sri Rattana Chedi in the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.
    • (8 AM) 
October 28th
  • Royal merit-making ceremony for the Royal Relics
    • (5:30 PM)
October 29th
  • Offering food to monks
    • (10 AM)
  • The Royal Relics are transferred from Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall to be enshrined in the Heavenly Abode in Chakri Maha Prasad Throne Hall.
    • (10 AM)
  • The Royal Ashes are transferred to be enshrined at two temples, Wat Rajabopidh and Wat Bovoranives.
    • (5:30 PM)

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Prince Harry's Tour of Denmark (2017)

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Prince Harry will make a two-day visit to Copenhagen, Denmark on 25th-26th October. This visit is at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Wednesday 25th
  • Visit Amalienborg Palace and meet with Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
  • Visit KPH Projects, a community for innovative start-ups and small growing businesses, which all have a shared focus to improve society by working with social, cultural or environmental objectives. 
  • Visit the headquarters of GAME, an NGO with a mission to create lasting social change through youth-led street sports and culture. 
  • Attend a reception hosted by the UK Ambassador to Denmark at the famous Tivoli Gardens. 
Thursday 26th
  • Visit the 'One of Us' program at a Danish bakery, where he will meet with volunteers and service users from the program designed to improve attitudes towards mental health. 
  • Visit a project works to rehabilitate wounded soldiers of the Danish Armed Forces.
    • With Prince Joachim & Denmark Invictus Game participates involved in the project
  • Attend conference on 'Making a Difference' at Ørestad Gymnasium (High school), which is part of a global network of changemaker schools, with partners in the UK. 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Queen Paola 80th Birthday & Liechtenstein 50th Wedding Anniversary Reply

I have 3 replies to share with you today! Two from Belgium and one from Liechtenstein.

Queen Paola of Belgium 

The first 2 replies are from Queen Paola of Belgium, the mother of King Philippe. I wrote to her at the end of August for her 80th birthday on September 11th.

This reply came today, a month after her birthday. It is a flat card. On one side is a copy of a handwritten note. On the other side is a picture.

The message is in French, one of the Belgium's official languages. Roughly translated the note says:
"Belvedére (Castle)

I want to thank you personally for the well-wishes you have sent on the occasion of my 80th birthday and tell you they have touched me very deeply. 

Sept. 2017"

It's common for Queen Paola write a hand-written message, that is then copied and printed on reply cards. This allows her to send a very lovely, personal response without having to hand-write every single reply.

On the front of the card is a picture from Queen Paola's 80th Birthday Celebrations in June. The Royal family and guests gathered for a special 80th Birthday musical performance in support of three of Paola's Charities: the Queen Paola Foundation, the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, and Missing Children Europe.

The photo is a nice size. It about as big as two of the typical photo replies from the Cambridges.

 I have numbered the Royals in order of the Family tree.
  • Queen Paola (1) & King Albert (2)
    • King Philippe (3) & Queen Mathilde (4)
      • Princess Elisabeth (5)
      • Prince Gabriel (6)
      • Prince Emmanuel (7)
      • Princess Eléonore (8)
    • Princess Astrid (9) & Prince Lorenz (10)
      • Prince Amedeo (11) & Archduchess Elizabetta (12)
        • Archduchess Anna (13)
      • Princess Maria Laura (did not attend)
      • Prince Joachim (14)
      • Princess Luisa Maria (15)
      • Princess Laetitia Maria (16)
    • Prince Laurent (arrived late, not pictured) & Princess Claire (17)
      • Princess Louise (18)
      • Prince Nicolas & Prince Aymeric (19, one of them is behind Queen Paola)

In my letter for Queen Paola's birthday, I also sent my condolences for the death of her brother, Don Antonello Ruffo di Calabria, who passed away on August 24th.

I received a 2nd reply, thanking me for sending my condolences. This reply arrived about a week and a half before the birthday reply.

The reply came in a very lovely envelope, which has a purple lining on the inside. Not all of Queen Paola's replies come in such a lovely envelope. For example: the 80th Birthday reply came in a more basic envelope: same front, but nothing on the back, no lining on the inside and not as nice paper.

Inside was a note from Queen Paola, thanking me for sending my condolences for the death of her brother.

The message is in again French. The note translates to:

" Belvédère (Castle)
September 2017

Her Majesty Queen Paola was very touched by the expressions of sympathy you have shown following the death of her brother, Don Antonello Ruffo di Calabria, and expresses her sincere thanks."

Prince Hans-Adams & Princess Marie 

The 3rd reply is from Liechtenstein. I have written to Prince Hans-Adams II & Princess Marie in July for their 50th Wedding Anniversary! Prince Hans-Adams is the monarch of Liechtenstein. But he retired in 2004 and made his son, Prince Alois, regent.

This reply came just over 2 months after I wrote. That's a pretty normal response time for royal mail in general. But it's the longest wait time I've ever had for a reply from Liechtenstein.

The card is the typical reply from Liechtenstein: their standard thank you, with added message for the specific event,  and handed signed by both Royals (Marie Liechtenstein & Hans Adams Liechtenstein). As always the reply is on very lovely paper, beautiful edges, and gorgeous embossed coat of arms.

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Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Prince William's Official Patronages - Education

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In an effort to kept things organized this section features only Prince William's Education patronages.  You can find links to all of his patronages here.

The Foundation of the College of St. George
Vice President (June 2008)

The Foundation of the College of St. George helps to raise funds to maintenance and development of the College of St George. It includes the preservation and maintenance of St George's Chapel, at Windsor castle where the Order of the Garter is held every year. Prince William has been a member of the Order of the Garter since 2008.

A number of Royals hold positions for this Foundation: The Queen is Patron; Prince Charles is President; Anne is also Vice President. All of them are apart of the Order of the Garter as well.

Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund
Joint Patron ( January 2009)

The Charity, Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund, was founded in memory of the Princes close friend Henry Van Straubenzee. Who died in a car accident in 2002 at the age of 18. The Henry Van Straubenzee Memorial Fund works to improve and build schools in Uganda.

William is joint patron with Prince Harry.

Back to Prince William's Patronages - Main Page