From the front of the envelope we can tell that this letter is from one of the British Royals. The postmark "Buckingham Palace" is used on almost all royal mail, regardless of what residence it is sent from. We have even seen it on mail from Scotland.
With the British Royals you can usually tell who the letter is from by the monogram on the back of the envelope. The back of this envelope has a black crown with the words "Kensington Palace" written underneath.
As you may know the Cambridge-Harry office is at Kensington Palace. But a bunch of other royals live there, and have their office there as well. Part of Kensington Palace is also a museum, and Kensington Palace has a public garden, and spaces that can be rents out for events. So Kensington Palace could mean a lot of things, not just the Cambridge-Harry Office.
I have never gotten a piece of mail with this monogram on the back, although I do recognize it.
The Royals all use different monograms, but a sharp eye will notice that William, Catherine and Harry's Monograms all use the same crown. And that it is the same crown used on this envelope. That means this letter has to be from one of them.
The letter inside is in reply to my Birthday Letter to Prince William.
This is a personalized letter. It mentions specific things about my letter: my comments on his work with mental health charities, his birthday and Charlotte's birthday.
I love the phrase "Generous Nature"! I talked in my letter about William's work on mental health, & specifically his new Anti-bullying campaign. I also talked more generally about William, Catherine and Harry's work.
Normally I don't like to go into what exactly I wrote, but I found a copy of my letter in my laptop, and was looking over it as I wrote this blog post. And because this part was really cute I thought I would share it with you:
"... I would like to point out that your “Dad” is totally showing. I can’t help but look at these causes, and the other ones you and Catherine support, and think about Prince George and Princess Charlotte. It seems quite obvious that you are doing this, in part, for your own children and their future..."
I did briefly mentioned Charlotte's birthday in my letter because I was a little sad I didn't get the birthday photo reply everyone else got. I had written to the Cambridges for Their 5th Anniversary/Charlotte's 1st Birthday, but the reply I got was just for their 5th Wedding Anniversary. And a part of me was hoping if I mentioned her birthday, they might include Charlotte's birthday photo reply with William's birthday photo reply.
Obviously this is not the typical photo reply we see from the Cambridges
I know other people have gotten the usual photo birthday reply for Prince William's Birthday this year. They said it is the same as last years.
For any event, there are always letters that get replied to more personally. Obviously there are a lot of factors that go into who gets a more personal reply and who gets the generic reply. Part of it is just luck. They can't personally reply to everyone, even if they get a bunch of amazing, thoughtful letters.
But the short answer is: if the generic reply is the appropriate response, that is what they send. If the generic reply would not be the appropriate response, or if they think the letter deserves a more personal response, then they send a personal response.
My advise is to always make your letter a bit personal. Don't just mention general things, like the Royal does great work and that is is important, mention specifics. Another little except from my letter:
"[Talk about William, Catherine & Harry's work, then] ...What I especially admire is your new Anti-Bullying task-force and the Head Start campaign. They both seem like incredible projects. And although they are obviously relevant for all ages, they are very important for young adults.... [I then went on to talk about young adults and mental health]."
If you want a personal letter that was meant for you, write a personal letter that could only be written by you.
Why "Kensington Palace" Stationary?
I feel like this should have been written on Prince William's red "W" stationary. It is a little odd that it is not. I have gotten a reply from Claudia Spens on Prince William's red "W" stationary & Harry's blue "H", and I feel like this reply and those are similar. So, black "Kensington Palace" stationary is interesting.
My thinking is the black "Kensington Palace" stationary is used more generally, for letters sent by the "Cambridge-Harry" Office, when it's not from the royal. I think Miss Spens just has a whole stack of different royal stationary she uses depending on the situation, and she grabbed the wrong one. Or she was working on letters that used the black "Kensington Palace" stationary at the time.
Letters sent from more than one royal use the senior royals stationary. (e.g Letters from William and Catherine use William's stationary, etc.)
We have gotten a few replies written from Miss Spens before, and you can see the differences:
(Notice the name of the office)
Claudia Spens works for Clarence House, in the Correspondence Section. The Correspondence Section at Clarence House handles all the mail for Charles, Camilla, The Cambridges & Harry. Unless your lucky enough to get something from a Private Secretary.
Miss Spens and the other people in the Correspondence Section are the ones sending out the typical photo replies.
Even though the letter is sent from Clarence House, they use the Royal's Stationary. William's stationary says Kensington Palace, since that is where his office/residence is. The name of the office changes as well (Office of Charles & Camilla vs. Cambridges & Harry), despite the fact that Miss Spens is always working at Clarence House.
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Other Replies from the Cambridges