Thursday, 30 July 2015

August Q & A

As Always, Post your Royal Questions & I will get to them as soon as possible. 


Question 1: Did you write to ___ for ___? And have you gotten the response yet?

Answer: When I blog about a response, which I  95% of the time do, I make sure to list it on "A Collection of Some of the Responses I've Received" Page. So, that is always a good place to start, but always feel free to ask about a specific one.

I am always so glad to see more and more people writing letters. Letter writing is not just for when you are angry and want to complain, but can also be a great way to connect with someone and show you care. If the only people who wrote to the Royals were people who wanted to disband the Monarchy, it would be pretty sad. 

Letter writing is NOT about get a cool response. But about you have something to say, even if it is something as simple as telling Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, she is "Really, Really Cool & will someday make a Great Queen!"

For those who keep asking, I haven't gotten, nor have I hear of others getting responses for:

  • William's Birthday
  • Charlotte's Christening
  • George's Birthday
  • Madeline of Sweden's Birthday
  • Carl Philip and Sofia's Wedding
  • Madeline and Chris's birth of 2nd child, Nicolas
  • Victoria's Birthday
As you can tell I like the British & Swedish Royals a lot (also Denmark and Monaco). Which is also why I don't have many responses from other Royals, because I only write to Royals and for Occasions I sincerely care about. 

It normally takes about 1-2 months for a response. The one time I wrote to Sweden before, it took 2.5 months for a response. So it may take a while, especially with it being summer and people are taking holidays. 

For the most part, expect letters to come in Chronological order. So don't expect a reply for Prince George's birthday before Clarence House has sent out the replies for Charlotte's Christening & William's birthday


To the 2 people, who on last month's Q&A, said they didn't get their responses yet, Let me know when you get yours. I worry! I know Clarence House wasn't done sending out response for Princess Charlotte's birth at that time (I saw some as recently as last week), and you needed to give a little more time for a response from the Queen.

Camila just sent out her birthday response, I got it 2 days ago, I know some people haven't yet, but don't worry. Clarence House doesn't send out all the responses on the same day. They respond to letters in batches based on when they came in/ the type. Plus, Camilla may have took a few days to hand-sign the notes, instead of doing it all at once.


Question 2: When will Princess Madeleine and Chris O'Neil's son Prince Nicolas be Christened?

Answer: October 11th at the Royal Chapel at Drottningholm Palace.

Question 3: When does Prince Harry get back from Africa?

Answer: We don't have a exact date, but we have been hearing Mid-september. Harry has a number of engagements in September and October so he will definitely be back in time for that..
List of Harry's engagements for 2015

Question 4: Can I write to Princess Beatrice for her birthday this month? I didn't see her name on your list of addresses and I want to know where to send a birthday card and if I will get a response. 

Answer: You can definitely write to Princess Beatrice for her birthday, and you will get a response.  The reason neither Beatrice or Eugenie are on the list of addresses is because they aren't working royals and don't have their own office. But you can still write to them. Letter should be sent to Prince Andrew's office and they will be the ones responding to your letter or card.

The Address is:

Princess Beatrice
Duke of York's Office
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA 
UK


Question 5: Was Pippa really asked to be Catherine's Lady-in-waiting?

Answer: No, I don't believe Pippa was ever asked to be a Lady-in-Waiting. Catherine doesn't have any Lady-in-waiting. But if she did, I don't think Catherine would have chosen Pippa, and I don't think Pippa would have wanted the Position.

Ladies-in-Waiting do a number of different thing for a royal. Some of what they do, is attend official engagements with the royal. The Lady-in-waiting will assist the Royal by directing them to where they are to go next, reminding them who they are meeting and their names, collecting flowers and cards, etc. A Lady-in-Waiting is suppose to blend into the background, and I don't think Pippa could ever do that. The media was quite found of Pippa when William and Catherine got engaged and continues to be fond. I also think Catherine wouldn't want her sisterly relationship with Pippa to change. A Lady-in-waiting is subject to certain protocol and the Middleton's have always been a haven to escape royal life.

I don't think Pippa would have wanted a life of answering Catherine's letters, walking a few steps behind, etc as a full time job. Pippa has since made her own Career as a writer, travels the world, etc. I think Pippa very much enjoys her freedom and independence.

Question 6: As often as you write, do you ever wonder if perhaps the secretaries start to recognize certain peoples names since they are always sending letters? 

Answer: I would defiantly think that secretaries notices people who write often, if they are distinctive and memorable. This is a little different scenario, but think of Terry Hutt at Lindo Wing getting a cake from the Cambridge Staff for his 80th birthday.


Terry has been around for decades and is well know by the Royals. He always shows up wearing Red, White and Blue and has been nicknamed the "Union Jack Man." The Royals will always give him a wave when they see him at events and sometimes stop and chat.


I haven't been writing letters that long  (I sent my 1st letter a year ago for Prince George's 1st birthday) and so I have only written to most of the royals only once or twice. I mostly just write for people's birthday and other important events.

Question 7: Do you know of anyone who writes for even more occasions or has been doing it for multiple years? I know it takes time to collect, so it would be cool to find someone who has tons of replies.

Answer:  You want to talk to Marlene Koenig @royalmusing. She has decades worth of letters and a lot of great historical knowledge.

I know some other people who write letters, but I can't really think of them at the moment. Most of them are more recent.

I should probably, shamelessly, plug my twitter friend Ethan @eth4nfloyd who just started a Tumbler about Writing to the Royals. I like to think I played a part in inspiring him. There isn't much there now, but it will grow as he writes and gets more letters. Always interesting to see how someone else responses differ from my own. The link to the Tumblr is here: http://writing-to-the-royals.tumblr.com

Question 8: Do you have any info on how much the royals pay for their official portraits? I.e. Mario Testino taking the Christening portraits

Answer:  No, we don't have any info on that. The cost of official portraits for events like christening, weddings, etc would be met by the Royal Family privately. My guess is that the photographer isn't being pay much. No one is making any money off these photos, they are practically just given away to the media. The photographer, however, does get the media attention, the pictures that will be remembered for decades and he or she gains this credential of being a royal portrait photographer.

Question 9: Do you have any more info on Prince Harry joining Walk of Britain?

Answer:  We know that Prince Harry will join the Walk for the Wounded team for part of their Walk of Britain 2015 trek (August 22th - October 31st). Prince Harry announced this when he became Patron of the walk in March. We have not been told by KP yet for what part or how long Harry will be joining the team. Obviously he has to get back from Africa first.

Walk with the Wounded's Walk of Britain 2015 is a 1,000 mile charity walk by 6 wounded veterans (4 UK, 2 USA) from Scotland to Buckingham Palace to raise money and awareness for wounded veterans.

Question 10: I haven't received a reply from the birth of Princess Charlotte, I sent it a month after she was born. Should I be worried?

Answer:  No, don't worry. Clarence House has been very busy and behind on sending out letters, especially if you wrote your letter late. The responses were not all mailed out at once, but over months. You would have sent your letter for Princess Charlotte's birth around the same time I sent mine for Prince William's birthday and I haven't received a reply yet for that.

My guess is that since the Royals tend to take August off, the Correspondence Section as uses this time to take holidays as well. Meaning basically subtract August from the 1-2 month normal response time (and add some extra time do to the large amount of mail they have been receiving).

I wrote for Camila's birthday last month and received a reply (2 weeks ago), but my friend hasn't yet.  I would have thought that since Camila was hand signing the replies that they would all be sent out around the same time. But that hasn't happened. Which again shows how slow the Correspondence Section at Clarence House is being, and not nearly as many people write to Camilla for her birthday as they do the Cambridges.

I would expect your reply to be sent out around the same time as Prince William's birthday replies. So, if you start seeing Princess Charlotte's Christening replies, then I would worry.

Question 11: Can you do a post on Diana?

Answer: I would absolutely love write a post Princess Diana. I really can't believe I haven't already.

What would you like this post to be about?

For William, Catherine and Harry I have their list of Official Patronages and Official Engagements for this year. But obviously Diana no longer has either. I have also never written to Diana, so I don't have any letters. 

I feel like a lot about Princess Diana has already been said. I certainly don't have nearly as much expert knowledge on Diana as a Royal Biographer. So I don't see the point in posting something that you can read in a book that is 100% better.

But if there is something you don't think is being addresses, that you think I have the knowledge to write about, I would love to make a post about.

Question 12: At Trooping the Colour this year was William wearing a ring? In a photo with Georgie where they're waving bye it look like he is.

Answer: No, Prince William does not wear a wedding ring or a signet ring.


12A: It's a photograph katewillgoergelottie posted on IG

Answer: I couldn't find either the Instagram account, so I don't know what picture you are referring to. But as far as I know Prince William has never worn a ring and certainly wasn't wearing one at the Trooping.


You can also check out Past Months Q&A and our Frequently Asked Questions here!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Poll Results:

September: Favorite Royal Family (Select Top 4)
  • United Kingdom (76%)
  • Sweden (69%)
  • Denmark (59%)
  • Netherlands (49%)
  • Spain
  • Norway
  • Monaco
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • Jordan 
  • Liechtenstein

August: Which Royal Country Will You Be Cheering For At Rio Olympics? (Select 1 or more)
  1. Great Britain (61%)
  2. Sweden (33%)
  3. Denmark (23%)
  4. Norway 
  5. Netherlands
  6. Spain
  7. Monaco
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Liechtenstein
  10. Belgium
  11. Jordan 
AprilWhat is older than the Queen? 
  • Ascot (47% answered correctly)
    • 1771
  • Trooping the Colour (59%)
    • 1748
  • Chelsea Flower Show ( 40%)
    • 1912
  • Royal Variety Performance (77%)
    • 1912
  • Buckingham Palace Garden Party (38%)
    • 1800's
  • BBC (31%)
    • 1922
  • Madame Tussauds (29%)
    • 1835
Younger than the Queen 
  • Royal Walk About (88%)
    • 1970
  • Royal Christmas Message (57%)
    • 1932
  • Commonwealth Games (85%)
    • 1930
  • The Sun (82%)
    • 1964
  • Sky News (100%)
    • 1989
  • BAFTA  (89%)
    • 1947
  • London Eye (89%)
    • 1999/2000
MarchCutest Royal Babies, birth thorough 1st year. 
  1. Princess Estelle 77%
  2. Princess Gabriella  27%
  3. Princess Leonor 20%
  4. Princess Josephine 18%
  5. Crown Prince Jacques 15%
  6. Princess Isabella 13%
  7. Princess Catharine-Amalia 8%
  8. Princess Eleonore 8%
  9. Prince Christian 6%
  10. Prince Vincent 6%
  11. Princess Ingrid Alexandra 6%
  12. Princess Ariane 5%
  13. Princess Elisabeth 3%
  14. Princess Alexia 3%
  15. Prince Gabriel 1%
  16. Prince Emmanuel 0%
  17. Prince Sverre Magnus 0%

FebruaryWhich magazine should Duchess Kate do her 1st magazine photoshoot for?
  1. Hello! *
  2. Vogue *
  3. Time *
  4. Vanity Fair *
  5. People *
  6. Tatler *
  7. Harper's Bazaar *
  8. Good Housekeeping *
  9. Grazia
  10. InStyle (No votes)
* Magazines that have had British Royals pose for them. 

January2016 Hopes and Dreams 
  1. Andrew and Fergie remarriage
  2. Prince Harry serious girlfriend, I actually like (Check)
  3. A Pic of William holding Charlotte (Check)
  4. Luxembourg Royal Baby (Check)
  5. York Royal Wedding
  6. Zara Phillips (Tindall) Olympic Gold (Sadly No)
  7. Swedish Royal Twins  (Sadly No)
  8. Duchess Kate takes on 1 of Diana's Patronages
  9. Harry Keep the Beard (Check)
  10. Monaco Royal Baby #3
  11. Harry Shave the Beard (Sadly No)
2015:
December Poll: Favorite Moments of 2015! 
  1. Birth of Princess Charlotte  (57%)
  2. Prince Carl Philip and Princess Sofia's Wedding  (37%)
  3. Queen Elizabeth II's Longest Reign 
  4. Crown Princess Victoria's Pregnancy Announcement
  5. Prince Harry's Beard
  6. Prince Nicolas's Christening
  7. Trooping the Colours
  8. Monaco Twins Christening
  9. "Heir to the Throne" Meeting in Norway
  10. Princess Isabella of Denmark's 1st official engagement
  11. Queen Margarethe's 75th Birthday
  12. China State Visit (Any of them)
  13. Letizia/Kate/Charlene's Haircut
  14. Prince Albert of Monaco's 10th Anniversary of Enthronement
  15. National Day (Any Country)
  16. New Years Reception (Denmark)
  17. State Opening of Parliament (Any Country) ..... Received No Votes :( 


November Poll: Prince Harry’s Future Wife should be?

Definitely Born in a Commonwealth County, preferably English or British.
American (17%)
Born Else Where (12 %)

Shorter than Harry 
Tall than Harry (6%)

University Graduate
Member of the Armed Forces (20%)
Olympic Athlete (3%)

Middle Class
Aristocratic (25%)
Royal  (15%)

Funny 
Kind (34%)
Fashionable (28%)

Likes Kids
Likes Dogs (27%)
Likes Horses (25%)

Book Lover
Athletic (33%)
Artsy (20%)

Historian
Lawyer (20%)
Architect (15%)
Actress (15%)
Reporter (10%)


2nd Half of October Poll: Which 6 Royals would you Invite to your State Banquet?

Top 7
           Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
           Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
           Queen Máxima of Netherlands
           Queen Elizabeth II
           Prince Daniel of Sweden
           Duchess Camilla
           Prince Phillip

We had a tie for the 6th place, Camilla and Phillip, so they are both got invited to our State Banquet.

Honorable mentions 

8.     Queen Silvia of Sweden
9.     Queen Rania of Jordan
10.   Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
11.   Princess Charlene of Monaco 
12.   Queen Letizia of Spain
13.   Prince Charles
14.   Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
15.   Queen Mathilde of Belgium

5 or Less votes 
Crown Princess Mette-Marit  of Norway
Prince Albert of Monaco
King Felipe VI of Spain
King Carl XVI Gustaf  of Sweden
Queen Sonja of Norway
Crown Prince Haakon of Norway
King Abdullah II of Jordan

No Votes
Prince Henrik of Denmark
King Philippe of Belgium
King Harald V of Norway

1st Half of October Poll: Who is ___? William or Harry? 
William:
  • Smarter (70%)
Harry:
  • Your Favorite  (71%)
  • The People's Favorite (71%)
  • Funnier (95%)
  • Better Looking (83%)
  • Better Fashion Sense (83%)
  • Better Looking with a Beard (98%)
  • Better with Children (77%)
  • Better with Elderly (83%)
  • More Passionate about Patronages (89%)
  • Better Companion for "The Doctor" (89%)
  • More likely to be accepted into Hogwarts  (71%)
Tied-ish, but Harry still got more votes:
  • Sweeter (59% Harry)
  • Better at being Royal (53% Harry)
  • More Normal (53% Harry)
September Poll: Catherine or the Queen? Select the ones that are true for both Royals.  

Answer: All of the following choices are true for both Catherine and the Queen!
  • Oldest Child (100% guessed correctly)
  • 1st Child was a boy, 2nd child a girl (100%)
  • Married at Westminster Abbey (93%)
  • Has a dog(s) (93%)
  • Became a Duchess when Married (80%)
  • When Born, was Not expected to someday become Queen (80%)
  • Husband worked in the Military  (80%)
  • Usually Celebrates her birthday privately (80%)
  • Has visited the set of popular British television show(s) (80%)
  • Wears the colour Blue more than any other colour (73%)
  • Is a God Mother (to both people and ships)(73%)
  • Wedding Bouquet was left at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior (66%)
  • Had to get Permission for the Monarch to Marry (66%)
  • Is a keen Photographer (66%)
  • Performed in plays as a child (66%)
  • Often rewears outfits (66%)
  • Was a member of the Girls Guide as a kid (66%)
    • But officially supports the Scouts (40%)
  • Younger Sister was bridesmaid at her wedding (60%)
  • Did her own Makeup on wedding day (46%)
  • Lived outside the UK for a few year (40%)
2nd Half of August Poll: Queen Elizabeth II: True or False? (Pick the True Statements)?

True Statements :
  • Have 8 Grandchildren (80%)
  • Love horseback ridding  (93%)
  • Worked as a truck driver & mechanic in WWII  (83%)
  • Was given the title HRH Princess of York at birth (63%)
  • Born in April (90%)
    • the Queen was born on the 21st of April in 1926
  • Is referred to as Queen Elizabeth I in Scotland. (26%)
    • Queen Elizabeth I of England wasn't Queen of Scotland, so Queen Elizabeth II is Scotland's 1st Queen named Elizabeth.
  • Is Patron of over 600+ Charities and Organizations (80%)
  • Has Tweeted (80%)
    • Queen Elizabeth II sent her first tweet on 24th October, 2014. It was pretyped, she just had to push a button. 
  • Has ridden on the Underground (56%)

False Statements: (% who correctly marked this as false )
  • Has 3 children Charles, Andrew & Edward (97%)
    • You can't forget Princess Anne
  • Has 2 Great Grandchildren (Prince George & Princess Charlotte) (90%)
    • You can't forget Savannah, Isla, & Mia
  • Competed in Showjumping at the 1976 Olympics Games in Montreal (97%)
    • Princess Anne competed in the 1987 Olympics
  • Has a Helicopter Licence (97%)
    • A number of royals do, but not the Queen
  • Hates wearing Hats indoors (77%)
  • Is currently the Longest Reigning British Monarch (94%)
    • No until September 9th
  • Will (with most certainly) become the Longest Reigning Monarch Ever (50%)
    • We would all love to see the Queen reign till 2034 (Age 108), but our guess is at about age 105 the Queen will finally retire and give Charles a chance to be king for a few years.  
  • Was Born 1st in line to the throne (90%)
    • The Queen was 3rd in line to the throne when she was born, behind her Uncle and Father. No one would have predicted at that point she would ever be Queen. 
  • Was given the title HRH Princess of Wales at birth (90%)
    • Nope, she was HRH Princess Elizabeth of York
  • Born in June (97%)
    • The Monarch's Official birthday is always in a Saturday in June, so they can celebrate in nice weather. But the Queen was born on the 21st of April in 1926.  
  • Is Left Handed (94%)
    • Not this Queen, although many British Royals are. 
  • No longer has any Corgis (90%)
    • The Queen still has a few Corgis although isn't breeding any new one. 
1st Half of August Poll: Can you Name all of the Duchess of Cambridge's Patronages?

This month we tested your knowledge, to see if you could recognize and pick out all of Catherine's Patronages out of a list of 20. 

Now while most of you were easily able to recognize Catherine's Patronages more than 50% of you confused William and Harry Patronages's with Catherine's. (I tracked results as they came in to get a accurate account of the # people who guesses correctly, since even people who got it partly wrong, were able to get most of Catherine's Patronages)

The Royal Foundation             64%
EACH                                      88%
The Art Room                          92%
National Portrait Gallery          84%
Action on Addiction                 84%
Place 2 Be                                 88%
SportsAid                                  80%
National History Museum         64%
The 1851 Trust                          88%
*Scout Association                    44%
**100 Women in Hedgefund     44%                                  

*Catherine is not actually a patron of the this organization, but is a Volunteer. So we did not make you as wrong if you didn't mark this.  

** During the course of the Poll it came to our attention that Catherine is technically a "Patron" of 100 Women in Hedgefund's philanthropic initiatives.  This Patronage is more of a Partnership between the Royal Foundation and 100WHF's philanthropic initiatives, so we don't classify it as one of HER Patronages. But we didn't mark this answer as either right or wrong.

Every Patronage that wasn't Catherine's was either William or Harry's which is why they seem familiar. (We did throw in one of the Queen's that Catherine visited earlier this year)

BAFTA                                        8%
Child Bereavement UK               5%
Centrepoint                                16%
Tusk Trust                                    4%
The Royal Society                        4%

Sentebale                                      4%
WellChild                                    20%
Map Action                                 12%

Queen Elizabeth's Patronages:
Fostering Network                      16%
July Poll: Favorite Cambridge Moments? (choose 6)

Gets Royals Readers Favorite by Number of Votes:
  1. Royal Wedding
  2. Prince George & Princess Charlotte's Birth
  3. Prince George & Princess Charlotte's Christenings + Olympics 
  4. Australia/ New Zealand Tour
  5. Canada/USA Tour + Trooping the Colours 
  6. Christmases at Sandringham + Wimbleton/ Any Sporting Event
  7. William and Catherine's Engagement + Dimond Jubilee Tour + Great Kate Wait: Part 1 + Prince George's 1st Birthday + New York/Washington Trip + SuperFans get Treats from Cambridges
  8. (Only receiving on vote each) Kiss in Klosters + Catherine's 1st Engagement (Christening Life Boat) + Return of the Great Kate Wait + Parking Restrictions Extended


Obviously these are old polls, so we are not taking any more votes. But feel free to leave a comment or suggest future Poll Topics.  

List of Royal Reporters and Photographers:

This list is composed of people who: cover the British Royals, on their day to day engagements, on a National or International scale. Who work or freelance for bona fide media organization and provide original reporting. (Alphabetical Order Last Name)

Journalist: Reporters and journalist who cover the royals regularly.
Photographers: Photographers who cover the Royal regularly for the media. Not Portrait Photographers.
This is by No Means, Anywhere near a Complete List. Feel free to help us along be commenting below with any other people that should be added to this list.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Duchess Camilla - Birthday Reply (2015)

Camilla sends the nicest responses! I was very excited when I spotted the Envelope lying on my kitchen counter.

I could tell immediately from the front of the envelope that this letter was from Camilla. Not because there was a Monogram/Cypher on the front, but because Camilla is the only BRF I have ever gotten a larger sized envelope from, and the only Royal that has sent a reply by registered mail.  

The Envelope also does this cool thing where each line of the address is indented. You can't see it since I blurred out my address. I have only ever seen this with Camilla's letters.  

The reason this was sent by registered delivery was because Camilla had hand-signed the note. When I wrote for Camilla and Charles's 10th Wedding Anniversary, I also received a hand signed card from Camilla.  This note is double the size of the typical Cambridge/Harry response.


On the front of the note, is a very lovely picture of Camilla at Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of the Arts on June 2nd. The picture was taken by Thomas Alexander. The reply was sent 3 days after Camilla's birthday and took 8 days to arrive in the mail (a little bit longer than usual).




There isn't too much to say about this response, but one interesting thing I noticed was the colour of Camilla's Monogram on the back of the envelope. It was different on the response for Camilla and Charles's 10th Wedding Anniversary.

Last time, it was green and this time it was blue.

The Green monograms are letters sent from Birkhall. Birchall is Charles and Camilla's Scotland Residence and is where they staying during their 10th wedding anniversary.

The Blue Monogram is for letters sent from Clarence House, their official residence in London.  

Monday, 27 July 2015

Birthday Letter from Queen Sonja of Norway

Getting a reply to your letter can sometimes take forever. I've learned not to expect a reply for at least a month. When people are on holiday (Summer or Christmas time) or there is a big event, it can take even longer.

I had written to Queen Sonja of Norway for her 78th birthday on July 4th. I don't remember the exact date I sent my letter, but based on when I normally send letters, this reply come in just under a month, which is a great response time.


The envelope is pretty basic. But one of the things I love about getting mail from Foreign Royals is each country has it own distinct postmark and markings. The envelope's post mark "Norge" means Norway, and was sent priority on the 21st (2 weeks after Queen Sonja's birthday). It took 6 days to arrive.

"Det Kongelige Hoff" written on the bottom of the envelope means "The Royal Court" in Norwegian. There was no monogram on the back of the envelope. 

This was the first time I had written to a Norway Royal. The Letter was brief, but cute. (First letters are always very exciting.) It was written by the Queen's Senior Secretary, Reidum Norberg, on a half-sheet sized paper, and hand signed. The telephone and fax on the bottom are the general numbers for the Royal Palace. 



The letter was written on a very nice quality paper. The watermark indicates that it is the brand "Conqueror," manufactured by UK company, Arjowiggins Creative Papers.  I found this interesting because it is a British company, and because I've seen the name, Conqueror, on a number of envelopes from different royals. (The Conqueror watermark is only present on a few sizes and colors, depending on the style of paper.)



This letter was written on Cream colour paper, and the finish (the lines) is called Laid.

As I looked through all my different letters, I realized many of them are on Conqueror stationary (E.g. Norway, Monaco, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, Duchess of York). There are a whole bunch of differently types, style, colours and finishes. I spent way to long today learning about all their different kinds of stationary in the Conqueror range. 


For those wondering what Stationary the British Royals use, no need for a watermark. The Queen and Prince Charles have both given out Royal Warrants to The Wren Press. 

Also Check Out:
Norway Royal Replies
Other Replies 

Monday, 13 July 2015

Writing to the Royals on Behalf of a Company, Organization or Charity


Who to Write to: In general, when writing to a Royal on behalf of a Company, Organization or Charity, you want to write to their Private Secretary.

List of Private Secretaries & where to address your letter (BP-Buckingham Palace(CH- Clarence House) (KP- Kensington Palace). This sometimes differs from where you would send a letter when writing to a Royal directly.

Queen Elizabeth: Sir Christopher Geidt   (BP)

Prince Phillip: Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell    (BP)

Prince Charles & Camilla:  Mr. Clive Alderton  (CH) 

Prince William: Mr. Miguel Head   (KP)

Duchess Catherine: Ms. Rebecca Deacon    (KP)

Prince Harry: Mr. Edward Lane Fox    (KP)

Prince Andrew: Mrs. Amanda Thirsk     (BP)

Prince Edward & Sophie: Mr. Tim Roberts    (BP)

Princess Anne: Captain Nick Wright     (BP)

Buckingham Palace
London SW1A 1AA 
UK

Clarence House
London SW1A 1BA
UK

Kensington Palace
London W8 4PU
UK

Foreign Royal Addresses

For whatever reason you are writing to a royal, there is a certain person whose job it is to deal with that. Writing to the appropriate person, ensures you get the appropriate response.  

There are times when it would be more appropriate to address your letter to a different member of the Royal's household (E.g. Interview request should be directed to a Press Secretary).  Or if you want information about a certain Household Department, Royal Collection, Royal Residence, etc. you should contact them directly.

I would always recommend checking out the Royal's Official Website to find out more specifics:

British Monarchy Website

Charles/Camilla/William/Catherine/Harry's Website








If you ever can't find a Royal's Private Secretary's name, you can always address your letter to "The Private Secretary of ____".

A letter addressed to a Royal, doesn't actually go directly to the Royal. Their letters are answered by a team of people who deal with the general correspondences. These people may not have the knowledge, authority or position to get or do whatever it is you are asking.

That is why it is best to address your letter to the Royal's Private Secretary or the appropriate member of the Royal's Household. Writing to that person is the best way to get the result you want.

What to Write: Your letter should be very professional, business-like, and more formal than a personal letter. You should keep it concise, no more than a page at length. If you want to include a pamphlet with more information about your charity, or organization, you can. You can also direct the reader to your website for more information.

We have a lot of general advice on writing letters to royals here. It is more for writing Personal Letters, but most of the information still applies. Some other useful tips are:
  • State in your Opening Paragraph why you are writing, Both
    • What you hope to get out of this letter
    • Why you have chosen to write to this Royal
  • Speak positively about your Company, Organization or Charity and the work that it does.
    • State why your Company, Organization or Charity is unique and different from others. 
  • State your position (e.g. Founder, President, Volunteer)
  • Be courteous and respectful (& realize you may not get the response you were hoping for).
  • Type your letter, but be sure to handwrite your signature
  • Be sure to include your return address on both your envelope and letter.

Are you a Charity/Organization hoping to get a Royal Patronage?

Royals do occasionally take on new patronages. You should write to their Private Secretary. They vet all the Charities and Organizations before forwarding on the appropriate/interesting ones to be considered for Patronage.

You can find out more about the process for Suggesting a Patronage to BRF (British Royal Family) here.

Are you inviting a Royal for a Visit?

Royals do accept invitations to visit for a special occasion or historic event. A Royal's schedule is often made far in advance, so your invitation should be sent as soon as possible. Royal tours abroad often begin the planning process over a year in advance.

If there is a specific Royal you wish to visit, it is best to write directly to that Royal's Private Secretary. They will know the Royal's schedule and if this visit will be of interest.

If you are based in the UK and looking for ANY British Royal to attend, it is best to contact your local Lord Lieutenant. They coordinate Royal visits to the area and will know if any royals are planning to be in that area during that time. They are also in regular contact with Buckingham Palace and advise the Palace on which events in their region deserves Royal Attention. The Palace can then see if any Royals are available and interested in attending.

You can find out more about the process for inviting a member of the BRF for a visit here.

Are you sending a gift/freebie?

The Royals have strict rules on accepting gifts. There are certain instances when Royals are/are not allowed to accept gifts. Even on Special Occasions like Births and Weddings the same rules apply. On these occasions, Royals typically suggest that well-wishers donate to charity in lieu of gifts. If you are unsure about whether or not your gift can be accepted, feel free to still send it and possibly mention that "If (The Royal) can not accept the gift, feel free to forward it on to an appropriate charity."

You can read more about the BRF's Rules for accepting gifts here.

What to expect in response:

Although you may write to a specific person, your reply may come from another member of the Royal's staff. The more important royals have Assistant/Deputy Private Secretaries and a number of other people who will often reply to letters. Don't worry if you receive a reply from someone you didn't expect. It could be the Principle Private Secretary was too busy to give your letter the proper attention or the person replying may be better equipped to answer your letter.

Never expect a personal reply from a Royal. Remember Royals get thousands of letters each year from both the public as well as companies, organizations, and charities. They do try to ensure everyone gets a response, but it may not be the response you were expecting/hoping for.

Back to Writing to the Royals - Main Page

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Duchess of Gloucester - Birthday reply (2015)

I received this in the mail a few days ago. I had written to the Duchess of Gloucester for her 69th birthday. She is the Queen's First Cousin.

The front of the envelope looks exactly like any piece of mail you will receive when writing to any member of the British Royal Family. Except that it has Office of the Duke of Gloucester stamped on the front. Most other Royal Mail will have the monogram of the Royal on the back of the envelope.

When couples in the BRF send letters it always comes from the more Senior Royal. I.E. the spouse who was born royal, not married in. Which might be why this envelope is stamped Duke of Gloucester, not Duchess. 

The letter is written on a half sheet, and like always the coat of arms on the top is embossed and denotes where the letter was sent from. This letter was written by the Duchess of Gloucester Lady-in-Waiting, Mrs. Lucinda Baker.  She also services as the Duchess's Deputy Private Secretary, as the Duchess shares a main Private Secretary with her husband.


I don't quite remember when I sent this letter, but it was most definitely some time in June; I normally write letters at the beginning of the month, and the mentioned WI Garden Party occurred June 2nd. This letter was answered pretty promptly, 3 days after the Duchess's Birthday, but wasn't mailed out till a week latter. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Thank You Letter from the King and Queen of Netherlands (2015)

I almost over looked this piece of Royal Mail when it arrived today.

I had written to the King Willem-Alexander & Queen Máxima after they had visited the USA on a Official Royal Visit in early June. They were going to be visiting really close to me, so I had planned on go to see them. I ended up not being able to, but decided to write to them about their successful tour and some local media coverage.

This is the 1st time I had written to the Dutch Royals. I really like this reply. It looks different than other Royal letters.

The Envelope is one of those large, half sheet of paper sized envelopes with a window for the address (1st piece of Royal Mail I've gotten to have such). The envelope is your normal business mail thickness and quality, which is why I almost thought was a bill at first and set it aside.  

Like with other Foreign Mail, the envelope is written in the country's native language, Dutch. It features the Royal Monogram on the front of the Envelope. The message under the Blue Crown reads Dienst Van Het Koninklijk Huis (Bureau of the Royal Household). 

The reply was sent by Priority Mail on July 2nd and arrived 5 days latter, about a month after I sent my letter. 

The Letter is on a full sheet of printed stationary. It has a embossed coat of arms on the upper right hand corner (You can't really tell in this picture). The letter was written by the Deputy Principal Secretary to the King and Queen, F. L. Manche, who hand-signed the Letter. 

 

The note is very brief, but mentions specifically why I had written. The Dutch by the date denotes that this was written at Noordeinde Palace in the city Hague. I'm not entirely sure what the Dutch on the left hand side means. Onderwerp translates to Subject or Topic.  So I assume 15/jbg denotes the topic and number, but I really have no idea what this references.

Also Check Out:
Other Replies
Replies from the Netherlands

Monday, 6 July 2015

Charles and Camilla on Princess Charlotte's Birth.

I had written to Charles and Camilla after the Birth of Princess Charlotte and received this letter in reply. You can tell this is a form response by the generic message, handwritten date, and absence of my printed name on either the top or bottom of the page. What I really liked about this message, that you didn't see on the Queen's, was the mention of how thrilled Prince Charles and Camilla were at the birth, the reciprocal best wishes they send in reply and the fact that I actually know who this letter was written by. Even though this is a form letter it is much more personable.


The letter was written on a half sheet of paper. The writer, Miss Claudia Spens, has written all of my responses from Charles and Camilla, except of the Hand Signed Card from Camilla. Although this letter came 2 months after Princess Charlotte's birth it still falls in the average/expected response time for British Royals. 

Prince Philip Birthday Reply (2015)

I had written to Prince Phillip for his 94th Birthday last month. This reply came about a month after I sent my letter. Which is a very reasonable response time.

This response is obviously a form response, sent to everyone who wrote. There is nothing about this letter that would suggest it was in a way specifically written for me. This is also the first letter I have received from a British Royals where it looks like the signature was printed on.



This response was written on a half sheet sized paper. Prince Philip's stationary look different than other British royals. Over the years royals have changed their stationary, but Philip has kept this older look.

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

Thursday, 2 July 2015

July Q&A (2015)

Post your Royal Questions & I will get to them as soon as possible. 

Question 1: Will the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Attend Wimbledon?

Answer: Yes, They will attend on Wednesday July 8th. The Duke of Kent will also be present that day.  

Question 2: Have you received a response from William's Birthday?

Answer: No I haven't yet. Prince William's birthday was 2 weeks ago, so it would be pretty amazing to receive a response in that short of time. It's usually any where between a month or two. My guess is that Clarence House is pretty busy with Mail given the Birth & Christening of Princess Charlotte and a number of other events and birthday happening in such a short time. I will be sure to blog the response once it comes.

Question 3: Have you gotten a reply from Prince Philips birthday? 

Answer: Yes, I just got it today and was about to blog post about it! So expect that soon, as in a half hour! Prince Philip's birthday is about 10 days before William's, but I don't expect to necessarily get William's response in 10 days. Their mail is handled by different offices.  

I once received a birthday reply for The Duchess of Cambridge (Which I sent in January) before I received a reply for my Christmas letter to the Cambridges (Which I sent in December). 

I've also twice received 2 replies for my same letter.

Question 4: When did Prince Harry go to Afganistan the first time I know it was 2007/2008 but do you know the months/ dates?

Answer: I'm not sure on the exact dates of Prince Harry's first tour of Afghanistan. We were not told about tour until after the fact for security reasons. The embargoed news broke Feb 28th, 2008 by American Media. Prince Harry was pulled out at that time. I believe he started December 14ish, for what as suppose to be a 4 month tour.

Question 5: Do you ever get nervous when you wait for a reply...even wondering whether or not your card actually made it through the mail?! Have you ever NOT gotten a reply when sending mail to the royals?

Answer: I'm usually pretty confident that my letter will get the Royals all right, give that I make sure to write the address neatly on the envelope, double checked the address to make sure it is correct, and put enough postage on the envelope.

(All the Addresses on this Blog are Correct, to the best of my knowledge, I've written to all of them, except Spain and Liechtenstein)

I also make sure to include the return address on the envelope as well as my Letter or Card. I currently have it written in my Letterhead. This will insure that even if my letter gets separated from their envelope they will still have my address.

For the most part I have always gotten a reply. The only People who don't reply are the Wessexs, Edward and Sophie. I believe they only send replies to people living in the UK, although I'm not sure about that. Or really big occasions. I've written for them for Christmas and 50th Birthdays and have received no replies. I know people in the US who have received replies from them years ago, but not recent.

I don't think that I get Nervous. I've gotten replies 60+ days latter, so you get use to waiting. I've also received a reply immediately when my letter was arrived at their office, so it varies.

Question 6: When do the Middletons and Will & Kate usually go to Mustique?

Answer: The Middletons go to Mustique every year for Carole Middleton's birthday in January. Prince William and Catherine, along with George and Nanny Maria, have been going every year as along with them as their schedule has permitted.

I don't know exactly how long the Middletons have been going to Mustique, but it's been an annual thing for at least a decade.

Question 7: I thought Sarah Ferguson was stripped of her title "Duchess of York". But at the Royal Ascot her name tag said Sarah Duchess of York?

Answer: It's complicated. Basically when Sarah was married she was Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York and now she is Sarah, Duchess of York.  She lost both the HRH and "The" in the divorce. Which supposedly make a big deal.

"The Duchess" means your married, without the "The", with the first name, means your divorced, but haven't remarried because then you will lost the title completely.

It would be incorrect to say Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge or Sophie, Countess of Wessex because that denotes they are divorced. But you can however call them Duchess Catherine or Countess Sophie. I've had a person continuously correct me out for using Sophie, Countess of Wessex instead of the Countess of Wessex, but for the most part no one really cares about that level of formality.

Question 8: What do you think the Palace does with all the letters/cards it receives? 

Answer: (Pretty Much) Every card or letter sent to the Palace (or another Royal Residence) gets read and responded to. After that I'm not too sure what happens to all the letters and cards. We would all hate to think that they get thrown out, but of course there may not be space or necessity to keep every letter and card sent to a royal.


Any Official or Personal correspondences, journals, speeches, etc. are preserved by The Royal Archives. My guess is important letters and card sent from the public are also preserved. I'm not really sure about the others.


I was able to find a bunch of information regarding gifts sent to royals:

http://www.royal.gov.uk/LatestNewsandDiary/Pressreleases/2003/Guidelinesandproceduresrelatingtogifts.aspx

There is also a really nice documentary about the British Monarchy done by BBC. They spend a few minutes talking about the Queen's Ladies-in-Waiting answering letters.

https://youtu.be/SL8wxXcsSRI?t=40m4s

Question 9: What is the ring that Pippa and James wear on their pinky? 

Answer: The ring is their signet ring, it reportedly bears either their family crest or a Acorn. Historically, a signet ring was used to press a person's coat of arms or emblem into wax to seal and mark letter or documents. The Middleton's were granted a Coat of Arms when Catherine got engaged.

Carole Middleton also wears a Signet Ring, along with a number of other aristocrats and Royals, including Prince Charles and Camilla.

Question 10: When you send your personal letters (i.e. birthday cards, etc.) do you type them, hand write them, or purchase cards from a gift store? 

Answer: I usually type my letters. My hand writing is a little messy, so I think typing it makes it look much nicer. But there are times when I will choose to handwrite my letter. The choice is up to you. You want your letter to be personal and sincere, but also legible.

You can also purchase a remade card, but I often feel those lack a personal touch. Royals get hundreds of pieces of mail each day. And a generic card will get quickly glanced at and then move on. The Correspondence Section or a Private Secretary will spend more time looking at (and possibly replying to) a more personal letter or card. Since the Royals can only look at selection of the letters and cards, their Private secretary will more likely forward the more personal and touching ones.

That doesn't mean you need to write something long and elaborate. A few carefully chosen words or lines can go a long way. As I said before it is about being personal and sincere. Do what ever you think is best and allows you to write comfortably.

Question 11: Was Rebecca Deacon at Princess Charlotte's Christening? 

Answer: Yes, she was! Even though this was a private family event, it still required a lot of planning, organizing and coordinating. There were over 3,500 Well-Wishers at the church, a number of  photographers, journalists, news reporters, camera men, security, etc.

Question 12: Do the Royals (William and Catherine) like Niraj Tanna?? 

Answer: Ummm... The Royals obviously have a interesting relationship with the press. They need them to promote their charity work, but don't want them butting into their Private Lives. As far as liking Niraj Tanna? They have sued her a few times for taking Paparazzi Photos, so..... (Kate playing Tennis Christmas Day 2009, "Stalking" Prince George and Nanny). But on the Flip side you also have photographers like Arthur Edwards, who has been The SUN Royal Photographer for decades, and has a good relationship with Royals.

Question 13: I sent out a card for Princess Charlotte's birth two months ago and I still haven't got a reply back yet? Do you think they're still processing all that mail yet!!

Answer: People have been getting replies from the Cambridge's over the last month. I got mine in the beginning of June and I've seen people (From the UK ) get replies last week. So, I don't think KP is done sending replies yet. I think they tried to answer the replies as they came in, but with so much mail, that system could have broken down some. I have gotten replies over 60+ days latter, so don't give up hope. There have also been a lot of other occasions for people to write Clarence House in the last two months. So, they have to deal with that mail as well.

It always takes longer for them to reply to for big important events when everyone is writing.  Usually it doesn't take this long, but it can happen.

Question 14: Does it matter whether you send your letter with USPS (United State Postal Service) or UPS (United Parcel Service)?

Answer: No, it shouldn't matter. But they will send the reply USPS.


Question 15: Do you think the Cambridges are going to release a photo for Prince George's Birthday like they did last year ?

Answer: We don't know anything for certain at this point.

Last year it made sense for the Cambridges to release a photo for George's birthday. We hadn't seen him in over 3 months.  We didn't have nearly as many photo of George as we do now, so the media was constantly having to reuse the same few images had. These pictures were getting tired and out-of-date, given how much a child grows and develops.

Think back to when George was born, before the 1st official pics by Michael Middleton were released. We kept on seeing the media: crop, flip, rotate, or change the color of Kate's dress in order to make the pics of George leaving the Hospital new and different than all the other thousand of articles about the New Baby, Prince George.

This year, however, we've had 4 official photo/ appearances of Prince George in the last 3 months. This totally breaks from the one picture every 3-4 months we had seen with the Cambridges previously. In fact the last pictures released of Prince George (from Charlotte's Christening) was released just 2 weeks before his 2nd birthday. The media has plenty of official recent photo of Prince George to use and I don't see any need for a new photo to be released.

We have been spoiled over the last 3 months with all the pictures. I don't expect this pattern to continue. The Cambridges didn't release all this pictures for the fun of it, but because all of them were required by Royal Tradition. They had to pose on the steps of Lindo Wing with their new baby, had to release the 1st official pictures shortly after, & had to release Christening photos. For the most part the Cambridges want to keep their children out of the lime light.

I don't see as necessary for the Cambridge's to release a photo for Prince George's birthday. But they may surprise us with another lucky treat. If they do, I would expect it to be another photo from Charlotte's Christening. That way, we get a photo for Prince George's birthday, but they don't have to make a big deal about it. They can just release one of the photos they all ready had, but didn't release.

If they do release a photo for George's birthday then the Cambridges are setting a precedent. And I think we could then expect them to release a photo for every birthday in the coming years.

List of Official Photographs of Prince George

Question 16: I still haven't gotten a reply from the Queen and I sent the letter with Philip's. And I got his reply a few weeks ago on

Answer: Prince Philip and the Queen's correspondences are handled by two different offices, so there is going to be a difference in response time. In my experience, Prince Phillip's office replies to his letters a little faster than the Queen's. I would assume that this is because the Queen gets a bunch more mail.

Responses take 1-2 months. So if you sent your letter in late May or more recently, we are still in a perfectly normal response window. I assume these were letters for Phillip's Birthday and Trooping the Colours, meaning you sent them beginning of June.

Philip's office sent out a form letter for his birthday. Meaning it was one letter they printed out and sent to everyone. The Addresses were printed onto labels. So instead of having having your letter next to them as they sent this response, the person had a sheet of labels with different people's address, who had all written for Philip's birthday.

The Queen, however, will most likely respond with a letter written for you in response to your letter. This will be a more personal response and written by one of her Ladies-in-Waiting. It will have a lot of generic language, but it is usually obvious that the person has read and is responding specifically to your letter. This process of writing a letter for each individual take a lot more time, than sticking a address label on envelope already stuffed with a form letter inside.