Thursday, 3 August 2000

FAQ: Writing Royal

Question 1: Should I type or handwrite my letter?

Answer: Either is fine. There is no wrong answer! The important thing is that the person can read & understand your letter. Do whatever you are most comfortable with and what looks good.

I usually type my letters because it looks neater. I don't have the prettiest handwriting. It also allows me to edit it, and check my spelling. I usually take a lot of time and care with each letter. Having it on my laptop, where I can work on it a little bit at a time, works well for me.

But when I do want to handwrite a letter, I always make sure to plan it out. I usually handwrite things when I don't have a lot to say, when it is a simple and short message. I don't want to make a mistake on my nice stationary or run out of room, so I usually start by typing my note, so I can organize my thoughts and edit. Use a font & size that is like your handwriting so you can figure out how much will fit on the page.

Question 2: How long should my letter be?

Answer: How long your letter is depends on how much you have to say, and the occasion. It can just be a few lines, or something longer.

I would not write anything longer than a page. The best letters are not the longest, but clear, to the point, and personal. Anything you need to say in 5 pages can probably be said in 1 & much more elegantly.

Question 3: I haven't received a reply from ____ yet!!!!!!!!!! And I've Waited SO LONG!!!!!!!

Answer: Has it been 2 months yet? 

No: Then be patient. It takes time for them to reply. They are busy with many things and get a lot of mail. 1-2 Months is a perfectly normal response time.

Yes, It's been over 2 months: Again, don't worry. They are busy with many things and get a lot of mail. I have received a lot of replies after 2 months. My longest wait has been 6 months waiting for a reply.

Remember for big occasions (e.g. Jubilees, 90th Birthdays, Births, Weddings, etc.) they receive a lot of mail, and it can take longer than usual for them to send out replies.

They also tend to be very slow over Christmas holiday and during Summer since a lot of their staff is on holiday.

Of course, there are some Royals who don't send replies. We have a list of average response times here & we do note those royals who don't, or only occasionally, send out replies.

Question 4: Someone got a reply for ___ and I didn't?

Answer: Don't worry. Royals get a lot of mail, and can't send out all the replies at once. It takes time. I have seen people write at the same time, for the same thing and get replies months apart.

Occasionally, we do see some people get replies and others not, but that is a very rare occasion.

Question 5: Do I need to send a self-addressed envelope or stamps with my letter?

Answer: No. The Royal's office takes care of all that.

Question 6: If I'm writing for a Child's birthday should I address my letter to the Parents or the Child?

Answer: Either is acceptable. The important thing is the letter is delivered to the right place. The child's and the parent's mail is usually answered by the same office, so there really isn't any difference.

I would address the envelope to the person you wrote the letter/card to. Most of the time people are really writing to the parents so you would address the envelope to them. They are also usually the ones sending the Thank You card.

A letter/card to a child is going to be different than for an adult. A baby who can't read yet, is only going to be interested in your letter if they can chew on it. A letter for a child should be simple & playful, with cute drawings or stickers, etc.

NOTE: For children who share a name with a family member, (E.g the two Prince Henrik of Denmark or Queen & Princess Sofia of Spain) address the envelope to the parents, that way you know for sure it will get to the right office.

Question 7: When should I write? Is it too early or late?

The perfect time to send a letter depends on the occasion. You don't have to write in the window I mention below, but I recommend it. If you write too early or too late, it will affect response time and possibly the type of response.

Writing ahead of the event:
There are some events where you want to send your letter ahead to time (Birthdays, Anniversaries,  Christmas, etc). 

It's always great when you can send your letter early enough that it arrives on or before the event. I recommend 2 weeks ahead of time. That will usually give your letter enough time to get there and give their office time to go through the mail. (But of course, it depends on how long it takes mail from your country to get to the Royals country. That can vary greatly across the world.)

However, you can't always sit down to write 2 weeks ahead of time for every event. Don't worry. As long as you can get your letter out sometime that month it's fine. Sometimes that means sending it out 30 days ahead of time or sending it out on the person's birthday. 

Writing after the event:
There are some events where you will send your letter after (Births, Deaths, Weddings, etc.). 

It is going to take you time to write and process the event. They are also going to be busy during this time. So don't feel like you have to write as soon as the announcement is made. Feel free to wait a few days. But I would try to get your letter mailed out within 2-3 weeks.

What if my timing is way off?
If you want to write to someone and it's way past whatever event, or way before. Don't fret, you don't need a specific occasion to write. Write a more general letter and put in a small mention about the event.

If you have any more questions about Writing to the Royals:
  1. Check out all our wonderful information here.
  2. If you still have a question, leave your question on our Question's page here. We will add it to this month's Q&A Page. This page will only be updated with the Questions we get asked over and over.

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