Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Crown Princess Mary Birthday Reply

Sorry for posting this late. I was a bit busy with the Easter Holidays and this is nothing we haven't seen before.

I wrote to Crown Princess Mary in February for her 44th birthday. A little over a month and a half latter, this arrived. The Crown Prince Couple's replies always look just like this. In fact this is identical to last year's Birthday reply.

The response time was the same as usual for this couple. They usually reply quite quickly, but since they sent the letter economy, it took forever to arrive.

Also Check Out:
Other replies from Denmark
Other replies

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Prince Andrew's Birthday Reply (2016)

In February, I wrote to Prince Andrew to wish him a happy 56th birthday. This arrived yesterday in reply.

This kind of letter is exactly what you would expect from the Yorks. A few short lines, written by either Prince Andrew's private secretary, Amanda Thirsk or assistant private secretary, James Upsher. Sometimes the letter is on a full sheet, sometimes it is on a half sheet. And although it mentions a delay in replying, a month wait is perfectly normal for the Yorks.


This reply is a little nicer than last year's reply for Prince Andrew's Birthday. Replies from the York's don't always mention why you wrote. So it was nice to see that Amanda had taken the time to really read my letter, as it is clearly referenced at the end of the first paragraph.

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Other Replies
Queen Elizabeth's 90th Birthday

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

English Translation: King Philippe of Belgium's Brussels Attack Address

HM King Philippe of Belgium - Brussels, March 22, 2016

Ladies and Gentleman,

Today, our country is in deep mourning. For each of us this March 22 will never be a day like any other. Shattered lives, deep wounds, these sufferings are those of any country.

Mathilde and I share in your sorrow, you who have lost a loved one or who have been wounded in the cowardly and despicable attacks today.

We express our full support for members of the emergency and security services. Our gratitude also goes to all those who spontaneously offer their help.

Faced with the threat, we will continue to respond with determination, with calmness and dignity. Let's maintain confidence in ourselves. This trust is our strength.



(Translation is a combination of the French and Dutch text)

Also check out:
King Philippe's Christmas Eve Address

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March Q & A (2016)

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

FYI: We are now on Facebook and and Instagram, be sure to follow us!

Question 1: Will the Cambridge attend the Irish Guard's St. Patrick's Day Parade?

Answer: William will be attending this year without Kate.

Passing out Shamrocks to the Irish Guard on St. Patrick's Day is a long tradition in the British Royal Family, passed down many generations.

It began in 1901, with Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII. And since then has been passed down to a senior female member of the Royal Family. After Queen Alexandra died the role was taken over by Princess Mary. Then the Queen Mum, until her death,

And then to Princess Anne.

The job fell to Catherine, after her marriage to Prince William. William is the Royal Colonel of the Irish Guard, so it was a natural fit.

Question 2: When will we get new pictures of Prince George and Princess Charlotte?

Answer: There are some photos we can definitely predict. But then there are times like Princess Charlotte's 6 month old pictures, or Ski holiday, where the Cambridges throw us a curve ball. The Cambridges try to release photos of their children every few months, so that the public and media can get updated pictures and hopefully create less of a market for Paparazzi photos. Here are a few possibilities of photos we might get through out the year.

Not Likely

  •  Mothering Sunday  (March 6th)
    • No, not likely. The 2014 Mothering Sunday photo was prep for Aus/NZ Tour. 
  • Ski Vacation! (March 7th)
    • These were a surprise. While I was expecting a set of family photos to be released sometime in the next few months, I don't think anyone was expecting a holiday photo to be released. 
  • Easter
    • Unlikely. We just got a picture less than a month ago, so no need. 
  • Tour of India and Bhutan (Early/Mid April)
    • Occasionally an official photo is released in preparation for a tour. But I don't think you would want to distract from the tour, by releasing a photo with the kids.
  • Queen's Birthday (April 21st)
    • I would expect some photo of George and Charlotte to celebrate the Queen's 90th, but that is months of celebrations. It may just be one from the balcony during the Trooping.
  • 5th Wedding Anniversary (April 29th)
    • I would expect some photo released, either the whole family or just William and Catherine (Maybe a set of photos).
  • Princess Charlotte's Birthday (May 2nd)
    • Definitely. It is quite likely this will be a solo photo of Princess Charlotte. 
  • Trooping the Colours (June 11th)
    • Definitely George. Charlotte is a little young, but given that this is a very important trooping it's likely we will see her. 
  • Polo Matches 
  • Princess George's Birthday (July 22nd)
    • Definitely. 
  • George back to school in Autumn 
    • Possible, especially if they are worried about paparazzi at school. 
  • Christmas (Early December)
    • We will definitely see the usual photo released for Christmas.
Question 3a: Did you write a letter to Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel to congratulate them on the birth of Princess Estelle? I wonder if you got the response because I wrote to Sweden some letters and I haven't got any replies :(

Answer: I didn't start writing to Royals till 2014. So I didn't write for Princess Estelle's birth. I did write for Prince Nicolas's birth last year and didn't get a response. I've written to the Swedish Royals a number of times and have only gotten two responses.

(You can see them if you click on the "replies" tab at the top of the page.)

I'm not really sure for what the Swedish royals send replies for, and what they don't.

I talked a bit about this in last month's Q&A, on Question #7.

Question 3b: Will you write to them when Royal Baby 2 is born if they don't send replies? 

Answer: Yes. Writing to a royal should never be just about getting a nice reply. You should write to them to congratulate them on the birth, because it was something you were excited about.

Question 4: Do you think fewer people write to Prince Harry, that is why he uses the same photo for his Christmas and Birthday replies? 

Answer: No, I would think he gets a comparable number of replies as the other Royals.  Harry uses the same photo for his Christmas and Birthday reply, because he can.

Clarence House tends to sends out solo pictures for Birthdays. Write for Harry's birthday you will get a photo of just Harry. For Charles' birthday a photo of Charles, etc.

For Christmas since letters are usually sent to the family (i.e. Charles and Camilla, or the Cambridges) they send out family photos.

Since for Birthdays they use solo photo and Christmas they use a family photo, the only person who could send out the same photo for both events in Harry.

The Cambridges have used same photos for different events, a number of times throughout the years.

Question 5a: Is there an address I can send my condolences to Prince Johann Georg von Hohenzollern family? 

Answer: Yes. As many of you have hear Prince Johan Georg von Hohenzollern, the King of Sweden's brother-in-law died today at the age of 83, while in hospital in Munich.

I would write to his wife, Princess Birgitta, at the Swedish Palace.

HRH Princess Birgitta 
Office of the Marshal of the Court
Kungl. Slottet
SE-107 70  Stockholm

Question 5b: What about writing a get well soon message to King Michael? 

Answer: Yes. Today, it was also announced that Romania's former King had leukemia and will withdraw from public life. He is recovering from a recent surgery. (King Michael was forced to abdicate in 1947, while Romania was under Soviet Union regime)

HM King Michael
Palatul Elisabeta
Sos. Kiseleff 28
011347, Bucuresti 1

Question 6: Hey I have a few questions about royal letters;) 

I've made a post breaking down the response times for each royal family. You can find it here. 
**Normal Response time is 1-2 months. **

Question 6a: How long have you waited for a letter from Princess Caroline of Monaco?

Answer: I've only written to Princess Caroline once, and that was for her Birthday in January. It has been a little over a month since I wrote, and I haven't received a response yet.

Albert and Charlene usually reply in the normal 1-2 months.

Question 6b: How long have you waited for a letter from Hereditary Grand Duchess Stephanie of Luxembourg? 

Answer: I have never written to Stephanie. I did write for Grand Duke Jean's 90th Birthday and received a reply 19 days later.

Question 6c: Have you written a letter to Queen Mathilde/Queen Maxima/Duchess Sarah? How long have you waited for a response?

Answer: Yes, Normal response time. 

Question 7: What kind of things does Rebecca do on days that Catherine does not have engagements?

Answer: As Catherine's Private Secretary, Rebecca Deacon is in charge of all things relating to the Duchess. And is the most senior member to Catherine's staff, but equal to William and Harry's private secretaries.

One thing Rebecca does is she helps plan all of the engagements.
This involves looking over events Catherine was invited to, or which were recommended by Lord Lieutenants and figuring out what would be appropriate, interesting and would fit in Catherine's schedule.

Once a engagement has been set, Rebecca talks to the organization, figuring out what is going to happen during the engagement. Talking with the Lord Lieutenant of the area, who coordinates everything locally. Rebecca also has to coordinate with Security for the engagement, transportation, and with Cambridge + Harry 3 press officers to figure out how they are handling press that day. As well as any one else who plays a significant role in the engagement.

Rebecca also helps Catherine figure out what to wear. 

While I'm not sure how much Rebecca plays a part in planning out each outfit. She is going to let Catherine know what would be appropriate for the type of engagement.

This involved knowing: How formal is it? What will the weather be link? Is there a color /tartan/symbols of the event, organization or place they are visiting. Will be an indoor or outdoor event. Day or Night? Will there be a lot of walking? Or a lot of sitting? Is there any official clothes, like a jacket? Will Catherine have time to change between engagements. Is there a piece of jewelry associated with it?

What colors will coordinate well with the surroundings, or soldiers in uniforms? If there is large crowds, how can the royal be easily spotted? etc.

Rebecca coordinates briefings
It's important that royals stay up-to-date on current issues.

When Catherine goes to an engagement that is not her only interaction with the people who run her patronage. There are often a lot of meetings that go on behind the scenes that we never hear about.

I.e. Catherine held a number of meetings with Huffington Post and with the people who were writing and doing research for the articles, before her actual day as guest editor.

Rebecca will liaison with the other royal offices. 
Rebecca is undoubtedly talking a lot with Clarence House and Buckingham Palace to coordinate things. As well as different government offices, when needed like the Foreign Office for when the Royals make trips abroad.

Or if a reception is being held at one of the Palace, Rebecca needs to coordinate with their staff.  Even for events at KP. The Cambridges only occupy part of the Palace and the other part are run by various offices.

Rebecca will deal with correspondences. 
While the majority of the Cambridges + Harry's correspondences are dealt with by Clarence House. The Private Secretary is going to have to deal with the important ones. Things that the correspondence section wouldn't be able to handle because they don't have the knowledge or decision power.

These would be things like letters from Catherine's patronages, government officials, charities hoping to get Catherine's patronage, charities or organizations inviting Catherine to a event, etc.

There is probably a billion other things that Rebecca does for Catherine. 

Question 8: Was there a sneak peek of the Cambridge Christmas card?

Answer: Are you referring to the picture Kensington Palace released for Christmas? 

Question 9: Which Royal do you expect will attend Easter service with the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh?

Answer: I took a look at the last four years, because I think that's a good marker of who will attend this year. And it either people have attended every year, or not. 

Who I expect:
  • Wessexs
    • James has never attended, too young. But since he made his first appearance at the Christmas service in December, I would expect him to make his first appearance at the Easter Service as well. 
  • Princess Anne and Timothy
    • We may or may not see her children, Peter and Zara with their spouses. If they do attend, don't expect to see their children. 
  • Prince Andrew
    • With his daughters is they aren't on holiday. 
  • Lady Sarah Chatto & family
    • Queen's Niece  
    • Likely, but not as definite. 
  • David Armstrong-Jones (Viscount Linley) & Family
    • Queen's Nephew  
    • Likely, but not as definite. 
  • Lady-in-waiting
    • You can usually spot at least one of the Queen's Ladies-in-waiting with her. 
Who I don't expect:
  • Charles and Camilla
    • They usually spend easter with Camilla's children in Scotland
  • Cambridges
    • William is out of the country. They either spend easter with Charles and Camilla or the Middletons
  • Prince Harry
  • Kents
  • Gloucesters

Question 10: I want to write to the Cambridge's for their upcoming wedding anniversary next month. Do you think they'll send out a postcard with a recent picture or a letter? 

Answer: They will most definitely send out their usual postcard picture reply.  Individual letter are too much work, due to the volume of mail they receive, and form letters have never been their style. 

As for which picture they will use, that is hard to say. They may want a photo of just the two of them, or they may select one of the family. I see the photo as being 1 of 6 options:
  • Wedding Anniversary Photo
    • I suspect the Cambridges will release a photo for their wedding anniversary. They could use this photo for their reply. But often they use photo from earlier events for their replies. This allows them to get the cards printed and possibly even start sending out replies before the event and official photo is released.
  • Last Reply
    • We often see them reuse photos for previous replies. So they could reuse the photo from their Christmas reply, which was a photo from Princess Charlotte's christening. I think this is unlikely. This photo has now been used twice now, so it seems time for a new one. Plus Charlotte will have grown significantly since then. 
  • Ski Photos
    • I love these photos, but they are too wintery for me to use as a wedding anniversary reply. And they might want a photo of just William and Catherine and I don't think the photos of just the two of them would make the best reply. 
  • Christmas Photo
    • The Christmas photo they released, but didn't use for their Christmas reply, would be perfect if they wanted a family photo. It's not too old, they kids haven't grown too much, and they can easily approve it, print it and have it ready to send out by their anniversary. 
  • Tour of India & Nepal
    • This is definitely an option if they want just William and Catherine. There are going to be hundreds of gorgeous photos of the pair of them from the tour. I think tours are great because you get to see a personal side of them, but you also get to see the official public side. And I think an Anniversary celebrates both a personal and official milestone. 
  • Official Engagement
    • They have had a half dozen or so joint engagements this year which they could choose from. None of those had any memorable photos. So if they do choose a photo from a engagement, I think it is likely they will choose one from the end of last year. There were a bunch of really memorable moments, especially their away days in Scotland and Wales.
  • "Our Queen at 90" Tiara Picture!
    • If the Cambridge really want to break out hearts, they could use a still of the Cambridges at the Diplomatic reception last December. We never got any official pictures of it, but video of it was featured in "Our Queen at 90" documentary.