Saturday, 31 December 2016

King Harald of Norway New Years Eve Address - English translation (2016)



In summer we had a very special tree in Slottsparken [Palace Park]. We called it Ønsketreet [Wishing Tree]. People who visited the park were invited to hang their hopes and wishes for Norway and the world.

Throughout the summer people's wishes flickered in the wind. More and more people and wishes came. The branches of the old tree hung heavy with the hopes of children and adults, young and old, Norwegians and foreign tourists.

For me, it was nice to see that many of the People's wishes were the same as my own hopes and wishes for our country and the future.

2016 was an eventful year filled with much gratitude for us. On the occasion of our 25th anniversary as a royal couple, The Queen and I experienced Norwegian hospitality and warmth at its best - through meetings with people on our anniversary trip along the coast, and on the many garden parties held. We want to thank you warmly for all the great memories that were created through this special year. One of my greatest wish is that we will continue to meet in freedom, without fear and barriers,  and without fences that creates distance. It is one of the most important values in Norway, open societies.

On one of the wishes a child had written to Ønsketreet:
"I want everyone be a little kinder to Themselves."

I think that was a wise desire. Many feel such great demands on them, that they are mentally and physically exhausted. But my impression is that many of the demands are made by ourselves. We exhaust ourselves simply by thinking that we are inadequate.

One of the most important is to feel like you have a purpose, feel useful, to accomplish a good day's work. Many of those who stand outside the labor market, know this feeling.

This year, we marked the 50th anniversary of the discovery of oil on the Norwegian Continental Shelf - with all the wealth it has created for Norway. Meanwhile, many in this industry have just lost their job.

I'm impressed with all the will of creativity and change that I've seen and heard about this year.

One of my wish is that we will be able to see and embrace all the human talent in our country. Everyone should feel like they can help and be recognized as useful - regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or disability.

Another wish on the tree was written by a girl and a boy together.
"I wish that we make it safe for women to live in Norway - and that we must ask about this several times," it said.

Our community should be safe for everyone. Specifically, we must work to ensure that the most vulnerable are protected best. In 2015,  the world leaders adopted the new sustainability goals for creating a better world [UN's 2030 Agenda]. One of the goals is about combating violence against women and children. In this area, Norway has acknowledged that we must make an extra effort in our own country. If we are to create a safe society for all, it is important that it gets put into words what is happening, and that those who are able to help, is wise listeners with strong vigor.

In Oppland County had 4 to 7. wishes because the schools have a mission where they should write a letter to the King, which I later read. A girl had written in his letter to me: "It is important to keep the traditions of old, so they are not packaged together and placed in a dusty drawer."

A tree is a nice picture of this. The roots are heritage and traditions. The tree above ground constantly exposed to influences that require maintenance throughout the changing seasons and life stages. As long as the tree lives, dig roots slowly deeper and deeper.

In Norway, many traditions, both religiously and culturally determined. Several of them are linked to the Christmas holidays we have just celebrated. From tomorrow - 1st January 2017 - the Church formally separated from the state. Simultaneously we mark that it is 500 years since the Reformation, which had great significance for the whole society. It is important to be roots conscious - and give new generations the opportunity to understand the references in our culture. This concerns both the history, religious traditions and narratives, myths, fairy tales, music and visual arts.

In any culture, in any country, being aware of this heritage helps to make us more whole as human beings. There is a wealth that helps us to know that we belong to a place and do not live in a vacuum. That we have been influenced and inspired by the same sources that people who have lived before us.

We experienced this when we last invited to multi-religious feast at the Palace. When we shared thoughts, cultural expressions and food from various treasure chest, we came closer together and understand each other better.

It is my hope that we are also in a time of ever new impulses gives space to go into our own treasury and make the content live, for ourselves and each other. My experience is that by standing confident in awareness of their own heritage, one can easily meet others with an open mind.

The Queen and I was reminded of our anchor during the anniversary church service in the cathedral on June 23 - which marked 25 years ago that we were blessed there. To have God's blessing on us - and getting kneel where both my father and grandfather had previously received the same blessing, perceived as a major force.

Youth expressed that they want stability, presence, calm and good conversation. It has always been challenging to be youth. But I sincerely feel the youth of today who are facing so many more choices and so much more external influence and pressure than was the case for only one or two generations ago.

In the midst of this I am deeply impressed by many young people. You are role models for us seniors who have failed to engage enough in topics such as the environment and wealth distribution. Many of the patches on Ønsketreet - especially the youngest - express hope for less litter and better climate. The social consciousness and conscience I meet with many of you who are young today, makes me very optimistic about the future.

One of the finest wishes I have heard expressed throughout the past year, came from a police officer who works with youth in trouble. The conversation between him and one of the youths was rendered in Dagsrevyen fall. When the young boy thought the policeman only dreamed when he thought a change for him and his friends, the policeman answered:

"Maybe. But my dream starts with you," then the boy was silent.

My dream for you.

If we have good dreams for each other, if we want each other well - then much magic happen. It's good for us to ensure that others can thrive. Both in the community, in Norway and as world citizens. A special thanks tonight I would inform all of you that are in service outside the country - and who might miss family and close friends especially tonight.

Thank you for the efforts you make through diplomacy and humanitarian organizations, the police and defense - for peace, stability, health and safety for fellowmen.

Dear everyone,

The Queen and I turn 80 this year [2017]. For us it's a little unreal. Like so many older people before us have said, one rarely feels as old as the number indicates. It gives us great pleasure to meet so many people who make an impression on us, giving us new ideas, which gives us the image of the new Norway - with its opportunities and challenges. People we hope and believe in will be able to build the country further on values ​​such as trust, fellowship and generosity. People that will characterize our society with its great effort and great knowledge.

Life has taught me that it is most important to us to not change very much over time. We need someone who cares about us. We need that there is use for us. We need to be seen - and recognized - for who we are. We need that someone has the time to listen and be present. We need to know that we are here for something and someone beyond ourselves.

Therefore I am glad that this tag fluttered the tip of a branch on Ønsketreet:
"I want a Norway which is rich in its diversity, with the ability to love their neighbor, where one can get to be who you are. A country with real freedom! "

In the new year I hope Norway, Europe and the world can be characterized by this:

That we who share this earth recognizes that we are primarily fellowmen.
That we can collectively decide to work for a healthier world.
Choosing to fight evil with good.

And from Ønsketreet Slottsparken comes a very last hope:
"That all the wishes on the tree must come true."

Happy New Year!

Back to Christmas 2016 - Main Page

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Royals in Hospital


There have been a number of Royals in Hospital recently. I thought it would be a good idea to list them so that we can keep these Royals in our thoughts.

October:

Ongoing Illness
  • Princess Christina of Sweden (74)
    • Chronic Leukemia - a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow
  • Prince Henrik of Denmark (83)
    • Dementia 
Previous:
2017:
January:
  • Queen Paola of Belgium (79)  
    • Spinal Fracture from fall
    • will require months of rehabilitation 
    • 1 week in hospital 
  • Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg (96)
    • Bronchitis 
    • 2 weeks in hospital
February - March:
  • Queen Paola of Belgium (79) 
    • Fractured Hip from fall
    • Surgery 
    • will require months of rehabilitation 
    • 3 weeks in hospital
April-May:
  • None
June:
  • Prince Philip (96)
    • Infection
    • 2 nights in King Edward VII Hospital in London
July:
  • Prince Henrik of Denmark (83)
    • Infection in the leg from a wound
    • Surgery to remove vein obstruction 
    • 1 week in hospital
      • Aarhus University Hospital (13th - 14th)
      • Skejby Hospital (14th - 19th)
August:
  • Prince Henrik of Denmark (83)
    • Increasing pain in leg 
      • following last months hospital stay for an infected wound on leg and surgery to remove vein obstruction 
    • 9 days in hospital
      • Rigshospitalet (13th - 22nd)
  • Princess Sofia (32)
    • Give birth to Prince Gabriel 
      •  Danderyd Hospital (Aug 31st - Sept 1st)

Monday, 26 December 2016

King Carl Gustaf of Sweden - Christmas Address English Translation (2016)



Dear Swedes, at home and abroad. Everyone in Sweden!
Courage!
Consideration!
Initiative!
These words are key for me. They are sometimes used to describe good leadership. But I think they can be good watchword for all of us. Especially in times of great challenges.
According to researchers, 2016 looks set to be the hottest year ever recorded. The temperature in the oceans and on land continues to rise. During the past year, we have seen how extreme weather events can cause great losses around the world, economic, but more importantly the loss of human life.
Changes in climate affect us: our ability to get food and clean water, to feed us and ultimately protect life and property. People's lives are connected with how we take care of our environment.
Here in Sweden, we are privileged to have access to clean water straight from the tap. Often we probably don't even not think about it. We see it as self-evident. The global water shortage is felt in other far off places. But it concerns us all. After a dry summer and autumn we have unusually low levels of groundwater. This has led to water shortages in many parts of Sweden. Among other places, Oland - where last summer they had to drive tanker trucks with water from the mainland.
[Oland is one of Sweden's big islands]
This creates a difficult situation for many, especially for farmers. It is also an important reminder of how dependent we are on clean water. The Royal Family is deeply committed to water issues. And I am especially pleased that Crown Princess Victoria has chosen to focus on marine and water issues in her role as ambassador for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. [Also known as 2030 Agenda.]
Climate change and other environmental problems do not know national boundaries. What happens on the other side of the world affects us and vice versa. That is why the climate agreement reached in Paris last year is so important. [Referring again to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.] To reverse the trend, we must cooperate.
Protecting the environment is not just a question of ethics. But about survival.
Sweden is a country of forests. Forests are a great resource that covers more than half of our country's surface. The productive forest land equivalent to more than three football fields per inhabitant. The forest is an important industry, but also a popular place for recreation. There are many who feel a special peace and joy when we get the opportunity to go out for a few hours in a quiet and beautiful forest.
Forestry has a long tradition in our country. For many generations, we have built up valuable knowledge about how we can take advantage of the opportunities provided by the forests. During the year I have visited several activities based on the expertise and who contribute in different ways to sustainable development.
This summer I was in Scania to open the MAX IV Laboratory. It will attract researchers from all over the world. One of the many exciting projects is just about developing new materials using raw materials from the Swedish forest. The development also means that change. In Ångermanland, I visited, for example, a former pulp mill. It had been converted into a modern facility for manufacturing including biofuels. And in Vasterbotten, I gained an insight into the research being done on forest-environment.
Swedish research and technology expertise are key assets, both for the environment and as a basis for Sweden's future prosperity. During the year the Queen and I made three state visits - two outgoing and incoming. The contrast was great: from our visit to the tiny kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas to the populous Germany, Sweden's biggest trading partner. And also the visit from Chile, a country that is far away, but with whom Sweden has close ties. One thing has been in common on all these visits and that is the interest in sustainability, climate and environment. There are issues where we have much to learn from each other.
State visits helps to create dialogue and exchange of knowledge between Sweden and other countries. I see this as an important part of the mission as Sweden's head of state. In a few days, Sweden will take place in the UN Security Council. It will be an important forum in the coming years. I am convinced that our country will be a positive force for peace and security. Sweden needed! Acts of terrorism, armed conflict and uncertainty. We live in troubled times. What is this world really headed? It is a question I have asked myself many times in the past year. And I do not think I'm alone.
The news never stops up. It can be difficult to take in everything. The most difficult thing is the pictures and the stories of how children fare badly. The work for children's rights today seems more important position than ever. One can feel anxiety about the future. But we should not let fear govern our everyday lives. We all have a responsibility to act as role models for our children and young people. Again, we must show courage, thoughtfulness and decisiveness. Courage to stand up for what is right. Care for each other. And action to intervene when someone needs help.
The Queen and I recently attended an ecumenical service held when Pope Francis visited Sweden. [Ecumenical Services is a service that brings together people of different denominations of Christianity.] The cathedral in Lund gathered Catholics and Protestants together to draw attention to the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
At this historic meeting, it was agreed to put the Christian faith in front of the division. To focus on what we have in common rather than the differences. Such steps towards reconciliation offers hope for the future! When I look back on the past year, I feel - also on a personal level - much gratitude.
Our family has been extended with two new little princes. [Prince Oscar, March 2nd, & Prince Alexander, April 19th] The Queen and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary this summer. And in connection with my 70th birthday last spring, I received many greetings and best wishes. I want to thank you for the warmth and care that we encounter. It means a lot to me and my family. I would like in this context also send a special greeting to all Swedish men and women who now find themselves far from home in various international missions of peace and security. To you I say: Thank you for your important work! You and your families are making great personal sacrifices, not least a weekend like this. It is worth our respect and gratitude.
2016 is about to end. Sometime early next year, Sweden will have it's ten millionth inhabitant. It can be a person who is an immigrant, or returning home after a long time abroad. It could be a child born anywhere in our country. Regardless, he or she will be a part of our common future. For this person, I would say: Welcome! I wish you all the best! To end, Me and my family wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017.

Back to Christmas 2016 - Main Page

Sunday, 25 December 2016

King Willem-Alexander of Netherlands - Christmas Speech English Translation (2016)



Heaven and earth touch each other at Christmas. Christ, the Son of God is born in a simple stable. His mother puts him to sleep in a crib. Angels proclaim a message of peace and hope for a better world.

Celebrating Christmas can be confronting and make us think. Near the spot where stood the manger, now reigns fear and violence. Unimaginable are the hardships that ordinary people - many of them small children - in Syria, as well as those suffering in other countries. Violence can also be close to home. Terrorist attacks this year - like last week in Berlin - leave many families in mourning.

Christmas 2016 also evokes contradictory feelings. That is why I have struggled with this Christmas Speech.

We would thus like to see the angel of peace spreads his wings over the world. We would know that would relive us so much. But while there is much that makes us worried and gives us a sense of threat and helplessness. Contradictions in the world appear to be larger. And that has an impact on our lives here. Extreme seems to be the new normal. Searching for security removes groups of their own rights. That often makes an open conversation impossible. Many fell we live in a country without listeners.

Who doubts about the future, often idealizes the past. And gives to all of us nostalgia for the past. Yes, once ...

We know that the reality was less rosy. And that many issues on which we are now so worried, on closer inspection, are less serious than we sometimes think.

This is very much to be happy about and life in many ways is really better than then.

"Perception is reality," you often hear. But the foundation of everyday life is like quicksand our perceptions displace reality. Let us honestly name the difficult problems. If there is one country that knows solidarity, it is the Netherlands. Without seeking the limelight, millions of carers and volunteers are our quiet strength. But do we recognize you and your loving work enough?

The message of Christmas is a message of hope, peace and charity.

This is a call to each of us. How we behave toward one another? What we do ourselves for our society in such a way that everyone knows and can feel safe at home? Can we still, solve problems together peacefully?

In these uncertain times, it is necessary to keep solid ground underfoot. The values that traditionally belong to the Netherlands, also determine in the future our ability to come together. While the world seems to give us less grip, we must stick to what we share and protect what connects us.

We want to live here, as free and equal people. Without afraiding of threats or intimidation and without discrimination on grounds of belief, race, gender or sexual orientation. These rights apply here for everyone, always.

Freedom needs space. Room to live, to move, to think and debate without fear. Space to be different from each other. That freedom belongs to us and is stronger than any act of terrorism as well.

Earlier this year I opened the Rotterdam Library, an exhibition dedicated to the famous Dutchman Desiderius Erasmus. He lived 500 years ago, not long after the invention of the printing press, the Internet of the 16th century. Erasmus was one of the first who took advantage of it. Throughout Europe readers knew his work.

Erasmus was a deeply religious man with a critical mind and a sharp pen. A man dared to overthrow sacred customs. Nothing human was alien to him and he was tremendously upset about the abuses of his time. But he always continued to search his strength in reasonable arguments and the peaceful exchange of ideas. We need each other after all.

"De natuur heeft onze gaven zo verdeeld, dat de ene mens het niet kan stellen zonder de hulp van de ande./Nature has divided our gifts so that one man can not do without the help of others," he wrote.

Terrorists are trying to undermine our free way of living and to undermine our sense of home. Rightly people desire in the first place safety.

In this time of uncertainty, fear and anger are understandable emotions. But anger can not be terminal. The peace we so desire does not come closer as people give up. Peace begins with protecting what we share and using positive forces. Without you, without him, it can not.

At Christmas we are urged not to give up. Not to give up on one another. Every person counts. Christmas light shines for all of us, and it makes us see each other.

The old Christmas carol puts it nicely: 

[Willem-Alexander is referring to the Dutch Lyrics of the song "Hark the Herald Angels Sing"]

Tussen alle mensen in
In het menselijk gezin
Hoor, de engelen zingen de eer
Van de nieuw geboren Heer.

Among all the people in
In the human family
Hark, the herald angels sing glory
Of the newborn King.

[The lyrics from the English version of the song are:]
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"

I wish all of you - wherever you are and whatever your personal circumstances may be - a blessed Christmas.

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Saturday, 24 December 2016

King Philippe of Belgium - Christmas Eve Address English Translation (2016)


Ladies and gentlemen,

For most of us Christmas and New Years is a time of happiness. Streets and squares are filled with festive lighting. In the home there is comfort, and the joy in being together and seeing each other again. Unfortunately, the same can not for everyone. For many people these are difficult days. I am thinking of all those who are lonely, or sick, and all those who are very worried. And also all those who have lost a loved one. This year, I am also particularly thinking about the victims of the attacks on Brussels and Zaventem, and on their relatives.

[Maalbeek Metro Station in Brussels and the Brussels Airport in Zaventem were locations of the "Brussels Bombing" in March, that killed 35 and injured 340.]

The events of the past year, in Belgium, Europe and elsewhere in the world, cast doubt on the future.  Many people are worried about their jobs, their income, their safety. Too many young people think their lives, and those of their children, will be worse than their parents. Too many older people are wondering if they can, or should, keep up with the changes of our time. This feeling of uncertainty, desperation, even anger, can lead to a loss of trust, even in the institutions.

And yet I want to send you today a message of hope. Throughout the country, the Queen and I are impressed by remarkable projects in which citizens are involved and who motivate others to become involved.

I see men and women who dare to interact with sincerity and truth. I have experienced this myself when I visit a home where mentally handicapped adults are offered a family environment. To meet without prejudice and affection, to recognize the weaknesses of the other and his own - it has overwhelmed me, how much energy is released in a self. Meekness is a strength.

I also see the work of solidarity and generosity, as when abused and bullied children are cared for during the holidays in a safe environment - and thus find their smile. In families, who accept people who are excluded. In projects, that bring people from different generations and backgrounds closer together. Many do not hesitate to sacrifice their comfort to get closer to the other.

I see finally many young and old who have understood that to succeed, one must have the courage to start over. They refuse to remain on the margins of society. They do not give up. They understand that to succeed is also to want the success of the other, and to accept their help. I think of those who take a helping hand to learn, to study again, to find a job. I am thinking of those retirees who are embarking on new meaningful projects. And to the elders who realize that accepting help by no means means that one has to renounce their dignity.

Ladies and gentlemen,

All these examples express the will to build a society where one sustains one another in difficult times and help each other to achieve success. They show that a warmer society is within reach. These examples therefore deserve more attention. I am convinced that they can trigger a dynamic that enriches our institutions and reinforces confidence in our democracy. This is what I sincerely hope for our country, and for Europe, on the eve of 2017.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Queen and I, and our whole family, wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Queen Passing on 25 of her Patronages


Today, Buckingham Palace announced that the Queen is passing down 25 of her 600+ patronages to younger members of the Royal Family. Most Patronages are being passed down to Royals already officially associated with the charity (as Vice Patron or President).

For some Charities, it has not yet been announced who is taking over for the Queen.

Listed below is the Charity and their new Patron.

Holocaust Day Memorial Trust

  • Prince Charles
Royal Institution of Great Britain
  • Prince Charles 
    • (Previous Vice Patron: 1979 - Today)
  • (Duke of Kent will remain in his role as President)
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust
  • Prince Charles 
    • (Previously President: ? - Today) 
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
  • Duchess Camilla
  • (Prince Micheal is currently president)
Barnardo's
  • Duchess Camilla
    • (Previously President: 2007 - Today) 
Royal School of Needlework
  • Duchess Camilla
  • Duchess of Gloucester is currently President 
Royal African Society
  • Prince William
Welsh Rugby Union
  • Prince William
    • (Previously, Vice Patron: 2007 - Today) 
Amateur Swimming Association
  • Prince William
Action for Children
  • Duchess Kate
All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club 
  • Duchess Kate
  • (Duke of Kent will remain in his role as President of the club)
  • The Club is commonly referred to as Wimbledon, because the it hosts the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament each summer. 
Lawn Tennis Association (LTA)
  • Duchess Kate
  • (Duchess of Gloucester will remain in her role as Honorary President)
Blind Veterans UK
  • Countess Sophie
Rugby Football Union
  • Prince Harry
    • (Previously, Vice Patron: 2010 - Today) 
Rugby Football League
  • Prince Harry 
Edinburgh International Festival
  • Prince Edward
Sport and Recreation Alliance
  • Prince Edwards 
    • (Previously President)
British Cycling Federation
  • Countess Sophie
NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children)
  • Countess Sophie
Royal Navy and Royal Marines Children's Fund
  • Prince Andrew
British Science Association
  • Prince Andrew
Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Prince Andrew
  • (Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Anne,  and Duke of Gloucester are all Honorary Fellows)
Animal Health Trust
  • Princess Anne 
    • Previously President: 1991 - Today
Royal Geographical Society
  • Princess Anne 
    • (Previously, Honorary Vice President: ? - Today) 
  • (Duke of Kent will remain in his role as Honorary President)
Save the Children UK
  • Princess Anne 
    • Previously President: 1970 - Today

Friday, 9 December 2016

Official Christmas Photos (2016)

Charles & Camilla Christmas Card

This photo was released Dec 10th, as part of Charles and Camilla's official Christmas Card, that they send out to family, friends, etc. The photo was taken in Croztiza, during the couple's Western Balkans Tour in March.


Spain Royal Family
King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain released their official Christmas card, December 12th. The Photo was taken at  Palace de la Zarzuela, at the end of November. (L-R: Sofia, Letizia, Leonor, Felipe)


Monaco Royal Family
On December 14th, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene hosted the annual Children's Christmas event at the Palace, along with two of Princess Stephinie's children, Louis Ducruet and Camille Gottlieb. Prince Jaques and Princess Gabriella attended the Courtyard part of the engagement.


December 22nd, The Monaco Royals released a set of Official Christmas photos.



Crown Princess Family of Sweden
Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel of Sweden released a Christmas video of a family outing to Tyresta National Park.



Norway Royals
Official Christmas were released December 20th. They were taken in the Garden of the Royal Palace, outside of the "Reading Gazebo."

Belgium Royals
On December 21st, the Belgium Royal Family attended the annual Christmas Concert at the Royal Palace.


December 23rd, Official Christmas photo is released.


Denmark Royals
Lovely photo of Queen Margrethe & Prince Henrik with their 8 Grandkids, released Christmas Eve.
(Clockwise from middle: Christian, Nikolai, Isabella, other Henrik, Josephine, Athena, Vincent, Felix)



Netherland Royals
Lovely photo of the Royal Family released Christmas Eve.


Back to Christmas 2016 - Main Page

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Liechtenstein Christmas Reply (2016)

Today, my first Royal Christmas reply came! This was a pretty quick reply. It helps that I wrote early when they weren't swamped with Christmas Wishes. Don't expect this good luck, even if you wrote to Liechtenstein around the same time as me. Remember it takes a while for them to reply to everyone so you could get your's weeks apart from someone else.

I had sent my letter to Hereditary Prince Alois and Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein on November 20th, so it took just over 2 weeks to get a reply. It is very lovely. The card is the same style as one I received for Princess Sophie's Birthday. But, obviously, a different typed message.

 

The message is in German, Liechtenstein's official languages. It translates to, "Blessed Christmas and all the best in the New Year." The card is signed by Sophie and Alois. It looks like a secretary filled in the "Dear Miss Daly,".

We will have all of Christmas replies linked here, when they arrive.

Also Check Out: 
Other Replies from Liechtenstein
Other Replies

Friday, 2 December 2016

Prince Charles Birthday Reply - (2016)

Just as I was fretting about getting all my Christmas Letters written in time, this lovely piece of royal mail dropped in my mail box yesterday.

I could immediately tell that this was from Prince Charles by the red Prince of Wales' Feathers on the back of the envelope. (They also appear on the top of the letter.)

I had written to Prince Charles for his 68th birthday last month. Usually Clarence House responds with a photo with typed message on the back. It's a generic birthday thank you, they send out to everyone. You can see Prince Charles Birthday reply from last year for an example of that.

But this year I received a very nice and personal letter from Miss Claudia Spens. (I know other people received the usual photo reply.)



I think the letter is pretty self explanatory. What I really like about it is, it mentions all the things I talked about in my Birthday Letter to Charles. Often letters can be kind of vague, "Thank you for your kind wishes," but this mentions specifically what I wrote about and is responsive to that.

I also think this is one of the longest letters I have received from a royal.

I wrote 3rd November. This came 1st December, so it took just under a month.

Reminder: 
Royal Letters/Cards for Christmas should be mailed out by Monday!!

Also Check Out:
Other Replies from the Wales
Other Replies

Thursday, 1 December 2016

December Q&A (2016)

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

Question 1: Can I write on the envelope - Katharine, The Duchess of Kent? Do I have to write HRH The Duchess of Kent? The Duchess prefers be known simple, as "Katharine, The Duchess of Kent," so maybe this option is OK? Does the title HRH is strictly required in the office? 



Answer: There aren't any strict rules, as long as you are being respectful, and it is something she is called. Any of these are fine, use what ever you feel most comfortable with:

Katharine Kent
Katherine, Duchess of Kent
Duchess of Kent
HRH The Duchess of Kent
etc. 

I would avoid calling her "Duchess Katherine" or just "Katherine", as it may get confused with the other Duchess Catherine. 

Question 2: I want to send a letter to Monaco on the occasion of the second birthday of Jacques and Gabriella. But I don't know who to address on envelope? Should I address for example Charlene or just directly the twins? Also inside envelope, on the letter, should I congratulate birthday wishes to twins or the parents? What did you do ? And how long did you wait for the response? 



Answer: See Question 6 on our "Writing to the Royals - FAQ" for more on Writing for a child's birthday. I usually write to the parents, TSH Prince Albert & Princess Charlene. I would expect a reply in late December or early January. 

Question 3: Do you have the Address for Princess Micheal of Kent?



Answer: The Prince and Princess Micheal of Kent are not "working royals," so they don't have offices like the rest of the royal family and don't receive any funding for their work. And as such they don't normally respond to letters. 

But you can send a letter to them at their home, Kensington Palace:



Kensington Palace
London W8 4PU 
UNITED KINGDOM 

Question 4: Do you write to other people aside from royals? Like Presidents, celebrities or other world leaders?


Answer:  No, not really. 

Question 5:  When you mail off your letters do you ever get weird looks or comments at the post office? Only asking because when I go to pay for the international shipping the clerks will raise eyebrows while reading the addresses.



Answer: I buy sheets of international stamps at the post office, so I don't need to go there each time I want to mail a letter. I just use one of my international stamps and put it on the envelope and put it in the mail box. So I don't get weird looks from the clerk. 


Question 6: I just recently sent 10 letters to different royals on the occasion of Christmas: Princess Charlene, Queen Mathilde, Queen Maxima, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Princess Claire of Luxembourg, Queen Letizia, Queen Paola, Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein, Princess Sofia of Sweden. I sent all the letters on the 4th of December. From your knowledge and experience do you think i will receive at least one letter form royals before Christmas?? And if you think that this is possible, than from which royals that i mention ? I will be really really happy if it will happen :D 


Answer:  I usually get 1 or 2 replies before Christmas, but it's usually a different royals each year. There really isn't any royal or family that is quicker about Christmas replies than other. So I can't really say who to expect a reply from first, except Princess Sophie of Lichtenstein seems likely, because I already received a Christmas reply from them.  


Question 7: What did you address on an envelope to Prince Hans and Princess Sophie? Of course you write the address but did you write just Prince Alois and Princess Sophie or something else?


Answer: As long as it's respectful, and one can tell exactly who the letter is for from the envelope, pretty much anything is fine. 

For Prince Hans-Adam and his wife Princess Marie, you could write:

  • TSH Prince Hans-Adam & Princess Marie
  • Prince Hans-Adam & Princess Marie
  • Fürst und Fürstin von Liechtenstein
  • etc.
For Prince Alois and Princess Sophie, you could write:
  • TSH Prince Alois & Princess Sophie
  • Prince Alois & Princess Sophie
  • The Hereditary Prince and Princess
  • Hereditary Prince Alois & Hereditary Princess Sophie
  • The Hereditary Prince Couple
  • etc.
I would avoid things like these, as it's not clear who exactly the envelope is for. 
  • Their Serene Highnesses
  • The Prince & Princess

Question 8: If I send a letter to the Queen of Denmark with New Year Wishes, will I get in response the new Christmas Photo, which was published?


Answer: No, The Denmark Royals don't usually send a photo with their reply. I would expect to get a letter, like this one from Christmas last year. 


Question 9: Do you feel it would be appropriate to write to the Queen about Zara Tindall's miscarriage? I just feel so terrible for her. 


Answer: Miscarriage is a very taboo topic, that many people try to ignore. But we can't pretend it didn't happen, especially since about 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. There are, after all, real people in hurt and sorrow. So I definitely think it would be appropriate to write a short note to let them know you are sorry for their loss, and that they are in your thoughts. 

Obviously, the Queen would be very upset by the news, as we all were when we heard. But I feel writing to her would be a bit misplaced. The Queen isn't really the one going thorough all this, it is her granddaughter. So while you can write to the Queen, and she is sort of a proxy for the entire family, I'm planning on writing to Zara and Mike themselves. 


You can do so by sending your letter to Princess Anne's office at Buckingham Palace:


Mr. & Mrs. Tindall

Princess Anne's Office
Buckingham Palace
London SW1A  1BA
UNITED KINGDOM

Will you get a reply. Definitely not for Zara and Mike themselves. But Princess Anne's office might send some a note back thanking you for your support. 


But yes, you can write to the Queen if you would like. And you would definitely get a reply back from her office. 

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Hereditary Princess Sophie of Liechtenstein - Birthday reply (2016)

I was quite excited to come home from a holiday break to find a piece of royal mail waiting for me. It was even more exciting to see that it's from Liechtenstein. This the first reply I have gotten from Liechtenstein, for the first letter I sent them. I sent my 2nd letter to them just a little bit ago for Christmas. 

I had written in October for Hereditary Princess Sophie's birthday. Hereditary Prince/ss means the same thing as Crown Prince/ss; different countries use the different titles. Some countries use neither and have a special title to denote the heir instead (e.g. Prince of Wales, Princess of Asturias, etc.).

The envelope is lovely. It reminds me a lot of Luxembourg's envelopes. It has a simple front, with a postmark and actual stamp, and on the back is the royal's address. 


Of course, the excitement of getting mail from Liechtenstein was doubled when I saw what was inside. 


Inside is a very lovely note. It's gorgeous. I especially love the edges and the embossed coat of arms. (You see a lot of embossed coat of arms on royal mail, but this is nicest I've seen. The paper is really nice and thick, so the coat of armed is raised quite a bit.)

It looks like the card is a pre-made thank you card, with "Many thanks for your kind wishes" pre-printed on it. They then added the mention of her birthday, before Princess Sophie signed it.

I really like how they have this basic card they can use for anything that they were then able to personalize. It certainly must make their life earlier.

Princess Sophie wrote: "Dear Miss Daly" & "Sophie Liechtenstein"

I think this reply is definitely in my top 10.

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Writing to the Royals for Christmas

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Duchess Sarah - Birthday Reply (2016)

I wrote to Sarah, Duchess of York last month to wish her a birthday, and received this in reply yesterday. The envelope was quite a tease because they sent the letter in a large, cardboard backed envelope marked "Please do not bend." They usually use that kind of envelope to send an auto-penned photo in. But sadly, no photo this time.

The letter is similar to what we usually see with Sarah. "Felicitations" - means good wishes, usually used to congratulate someone.



It appears whoever sent the letter was in a bit of a rush. They forgot to sign the letter. They also misspelt my name at the bottom of the letter, and again on the envelope.

The quote at the bottom of the page is something unique to Sarah. It is nice to see her change up the quote at the bottom of the letter. The last two years, she used a quote from Pope Pius XII.

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Saturday, 5 November 2016

Queen Elizabeth's 90th Birthday reply!!



Over the years many of you have come to me worried about not having received a reply yet. My response to you has usually been, "You just need to be Patient. It will come, you just need to give it time." And this reply has certainly tested my patiences, and made me wonder if it would ever come at all.

I had written Queen Elizabeth II 7 months ago, on honor of her 90th Birthday in April, and today I finally received my reply. It had been a long wait. It started when a friend received his reply, postmarked The Queen's Birthday from Windsor Castle. I remembering thinking, they are really on top of things, and surely my reply can't be too far off.

Well, after the longest response time I've ever had, here it is. Unlike the Queen's usual responses, this is a card (accompanied by a note, apologizing for the delay).





The cards says: "Buckingham Palace: I send you my grateful thanks for the kind words you have sent to me on the occasion of my ninetieth birthday. Elizabeth R 2016."

The photo on the inside of the card was released last year to mark the Queen becoming Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch.

It's a very lovely reply and certainly worth the wait!

The card comes just as were all starting to think about sending Christmas letters. We have a helpful guide to all your Royal Christmas needs here.

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Average Response Time

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

November 2016 Q&A

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

Question 1: Will Kate ever receive the Royal Order from The Queen?

Answer:  Yes, I think Catherine will definitely get one from the Queen. The real question is when. The Queen will give Catherine the order when the time is right,  but I can't imagine it will be long now. Of course we won't know Catherine has received it till we see her wearing it at a State Banquet. 

Question 2: Do you already know to whom you will send Christmas letters/cards in this year? Will you send cards or letters? I'm so excited for this season. And you? 

Answer:  You can send either a letter or a card, both are fine. I like to send letters cause it gives me more room to say things. I usually spend quite a bit of time on each letter. 

I'm also very excited, Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. And love sending my letters, and getting all the wonderful replies thought January and February. I haven't started writing yet. But I plan to hopefully this week. 


I haven't quite made my Christmas list. I have a vague idea, but it just depends on how many I get too. I usually start with the one's I'm most excited to write to, and trickle down to  the "I don't think they are even going to reply, so why bother"? 


My plan is to write to all the current European Monarchs. With some royal families I will write to other members of the royal family. For example with UK, I'm planning on writing to the Wales, Cambridges, Harry, Yorks, etc. How far I go down that list just depends on how busy I am. 



Question 3: You say that its better to send letter with Christmas greetings by 5th of December. But I am worried what if I send them my letter and they still would not be prepared and instead of getting a beautiful picture reply, I will receive a typed letter. What is your opinion on that? Do you think that I can send a letter on for example 30th of November and I will still get a Christmas reply?

Answer: It's not too early to write to the Cambridges for Christmas, you could have written earlier than this. It takes a longer over the holidays for your letter to arrive at their office. Then letters always sit around for a while, while they wait to be open, which will also take longer over the holidays. So there is chance they won't even get to it till their staff is back from their holiday break, meaning you won't get a reply till January. 

Even if they get to your letter in early December before they have made their photo reply yet, they will put it in a pile until they are ready. 


Too early would be your letter arrives in early/mid November, before they even thought about Christmas, or it arrived in February when they thought they were all done with Christmas replies and they are all out of their photo replies. 


For the most party, they only send out letters when they feel like they need to send a more personal response, or they don't have a reply for that occasion. They get so much mail over the holidays they don't have the time to write letters to each person who wrote a little early or a little late, so don't worry. 



Question 4: On which day and month (at the beginning  middle, end etc.) do you usually start sending Christmas letters to royals?

Answer: It changes from year to year, just depending on how busy/excited I am. I usually start about middle of November, and finish early December. 


But how early you start just depends on where you are sending your letter from, and whether it's economy, standard, first class, propriety, etc. mail. The goal is to try to get our letter to arrives in December, hopefully before Christmas. And for some places that means sending our letter out really early, like October, and for others they can send their letter out a week before Christmas and it will arrive in time. 

For more on specifics you will want to check with your countries postal service. We have a list of them here.  

Question 5: Do you think that Princess Sofia will respond to a letter on the occasion on her birthday? Cause I know that they usually reply, but I am really worried cause I send 2 letters to Sweden (to Silvia and Vic ) but I never got a reply.

Answer: The Swedish Royals actually very rarely reply. So I'm not surprised you didn't get a reply from Silvia and Victoria. Sadly I don't think you will get a reply from Sofia either. But the Swedish Royals can be a bit unpredictable when it comes to replies, so who knows. 

Question 6: When writing a letter to the Cambridges for Christmas, how should you start the letter? Do you address them all one by one, or is there an acceptable collective name we can address them as? 

Answer: You can address them however you would like (as long as it's respectful). I usually write to William and Catherine, and say in the letter that I'm sending my wishes to their family.  I usually put Duke & Duchess of Cambridge on the envelope and then start with Dear Your Royal Highnesses,. 

But you can do what ever you like William & Kate/Catherine, Prince William and Princess Kate, The Cambridges, William, Catherine, George & Charlotte, Earl and Countess of Strathearn, etc. 

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