Monday, 30 January 2017

Luxembourg Christmas Reply (2016)

A very lovely Christmas reply came today!

It's from the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess of Luxembourg. The reply is similar to what we usually see from them, but a little different format. So, not much to say here.

I do find the (of Luxembourg) parentheses distracting. I don't know why they included them. Their previous replies have used of Luxembourg without the parentheses, or simply omitted the of Luxembourg altogether. Both seem like a better alternative.

Also Check Out:
Other Replies 
Christmas 2016 Replies
Writing to the Royals

3 more Christmas Replies! (Juan Carlos & Sofia, Harry, Wales)

I spend another long weekend away from home. I came home to find 3 replies waiting for me!

King Juan Carlos & Queen Sofia of Spain

I don't often pick favourites, but this first reply is definitely the most exciting of the three!

WHY? Because this is my first reply from Spain!!! 

First replies are very exciting! I'm always very intrigued by how they respond, what the reply looks like, the envelope, etc. (Sorry, I always get really nerdy about envelopes!) This is extra special because I've written to the Spain Royals a handful of times since 2015, and no response, until today! I had wondered if one would ever come. (Although I had only ever written to King Felipe and Queen Letizia.)

This reply is from King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. They are Felipe's parents. King Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014.

Quite easy to tell the reply is from Spain by the envelope. They are after all the only Current European Monarchy whose official language is Spanish.

Correos Espana is Spain's national postal service. The postmark with the date reads "E.O. Jefatura de Estado, Madrid." Not sure what E.O. stands for, but the rest says Head of State, Madrid.

The postmark on the right, "Paquete Azul, Paquete a Domicilio" (Package Blue, Package at Home), is a marking for the Correos service they used.

What is very interesting is the Blue Stamp "Casa De S.M. El Rey - Protocolo" (Household of H.M. The King - Protocol) is printed on, not actually stamped.

The letter is written by Alfanso Sanz Portoles, Secretary-General of King Juan Carlos's Household. And is sent from the Palace of Zarzuela, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia's home.

Translated the message reads:
"Palace of  Zarzuela
18th January 2017

Gertrude Alexandra Daly 

From Secretary-General of H.M. King Juan Carlos

Their Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia charged me, in their name, to send their most sincere gratefulness for the kind greeting that you sent to them on the occasion of Christmas and New Year, as well as your best wishes for 2017.

I take the opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous year.

Alfanso Sanz Portoles"

It's a very lovely reply. And I am very excited to add a new section to my binders for Spain, and of course to add the 1st reply on our blog!

Prince Harry of UK

The 2nd reply is from Prince Harry! I received together, in one envelope, both a letter and Prince Harry's usual photo Christmas reply. This is the first time that has happened to me. I have occasionally received a letter, instead of the usual Christmas or Birthday reply, but have never been sent both.

The Christmas photo reply is the same as last year, except the wording on the back is slightly different. Prince Harry's birthday replies for 2015 & 2016 used the same photo as well.

They are obviously making up new cards each year, for each event, as the messages are slightly different. Personally, I do find it a little annoying they don't switch the photo up if they are printing off new cards. I could understand if they had extras from last year they were continuing to use, but that is not the case here.

Now on to the letter! It was written, like usually, by Claudia Spens, whose actual title is Head of the Correspondence Section at Clarence House. The Correspondence Section answers all of Charles, Camilla, Harry and the Cambridges mail. (And YES, you really should be sending your mail for Harry & the Cambridges to Clarence House, not Kensington Palace.)

The Correspondence Section is mainly made up of part-time staff, which explains why it can take forever to receive a reply. Last year, the annual reports said the Correspondence Section had the equivalent of 2.8 full-time staff members. But over the last 5 years, the correspondence section staff has averaged the equivalent of 3.4 full-time staff members. Claudia Spens is full-time and there is possibly another full-time staff member, and the rest are part-time. We don't know the exact number of full-time and part-time staff. My guess there is a bunch of part-time staff, who only come in once a week, or something.

The letter mentions some of the stuff I wrote in my Christmas letter.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla of UK

With this final reply, I don't have a lot to say. It's the couples usual Christmas reply. Which is the same thing (& size) as the Cambridges and Harry's. Don't let the white border, fool you. It's not one of those big picture replies Camilla uses when she send a signed reply. (Not sure why they choose to put the white border on such a small picture.)

The photo is from Charles and Camilla's tour of the Western Balkans, take on 14th March 2016, by Chris Jackson. The couple was in Croatia on their 1st of 2 days in the country and are on the balcony at the National Theatre.

The message is the same as last year's reply.

It must have been a very memorable time in Croatia. The couple used a photo taken the very next day, in their official Christmas card, that was sent to family and friends. (Photo was taken March 15th, 2016 by Chris Jackson.)

I've gotten replies for about 60% of my Christmas Letters so far. Which is a good amount given I only expect to get replies from 85% percent of my letters.

Also Check Out:
Other Replies 
Christmas 2016 Replies
Writing to the Royals

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

3 Replies: Princess Alexandra of UK, Princess Tessy of Luxembourg & Queen Paola of Belgium

3 Replies came in the mail today.

I've been doing this long enough that I can almost always figure out who the reply is from just by looking at the envelope. But there was a little bit of hesitation today.

Princess Alexandra of UK

The first reply is from Princess Alexandra, the Queen's Cousin. It was a little confusing because the reply came in an envelope with the Queen's coat of arms on it. (Although the coat of arms here is a little different color red, and half the size than the one on the envelopes from the Queen.)

Princess Alexandra's coat of arms is similar to this, but different. Most noticeably the shield on Alexandra's is diamond shaped, and the crown on top is different, with no lion or feathers.

So when I saw this envelope, I was expecting to find a Christmas reply from the Queen. But instead was surprised with a lovely rely from Princess Alexandra.

I had written to Princess Alexandra for her 80th birthday last month (25th December), and also to wish her a very Merry Christmas. She was the only one of the Queen's cousins I wrote to this Christmas. This very lovely reply was sent by her Private Secretary, Mrs. Diane Duke.

Not much to say about this reply. At the top is her monogram, which is a crown with two intersecting A underneath. This is the first time I had written to Princess Alexandra. 

Princess Tessy of Luxembourg 

With the 2nd reply, again I puzzles over who this could be from. The reply obviously came from Britain. But it lacked some of the usual marking of an envelope from the Royals: No EIIR, no Buckingham Palace postmark, and no paid postage stamp. There is no monogram or coat of arms on the back. And for the first time ever the address is hand-written. 

I didn't really know what to make of the envelope. Everything crossed my mind, including one of you tracking down my address and writing to tell my you loved Gert's Royals. 

The reply is from Princess Tessy of Luxembourg. I had written to her in October for her Birthday. I had sent my letter to the Palace in Luxembourg, who forward it on to Princess Tessy, who lives in London with her children. (And no we don't have Princess Tessy or Prince Louis London Address, letter for them should be sent to Luxembourg.)

The reply is the family's Christmas card, signed by Princess Tessy. It has a little addition, thanking me for my Birthday Wishes. 

It does seem a little bizarre to see a Christmas card with both Louis and Tessy's names, as they announced their divorce a week ago. But I wish them much happiness, and hope they can have a good, friendly relationship like Prince Andrew and Duchess Sarah. 

The envelope postmark doesn't have a date, but based on the usual time it takes for a letter to arrive here from the UK, this reply was sent right around the day the Palace announced the couple was divorcing. I'm glad Princess Tessy had some uplifting well-wishes to read during that difficult time. 

Queen Paola of Belgium 

I immediately recognized this reply. It's obviously from Belgium, and has the name of Queen Paola's residence, so I know it's from her. Queen Paola is King Philippe's mother. This is the 4th time I've written and gotten a reply from Queen Paola. 

What is interesting to note is each of the envelopes from her have been slightly different. They have all had her purple crown. But the crowns have been varying sizes, sometimes on the back, or front on the envelope. And sometimes they have included the name of the royal residence. 

The envelopes themselves have been different colours and had different color linings on the inside. Each reply has been a little different as well. 

I had written to Queen Paola (age 79) earlier this month, after she had fallen, fractured her spine and was admitted to the hospital. She was there for about a week, and is now resting at home. She will have months of rehabilitation.

The note is written in French and translates to, "8 January 2017. Her Majesty Queen Paola was very touched by your kind wishes for a speedy recovery. The Queen thanks you very warmly."

I had sent my letter on January 5th, so it took 2.5 week to get a reply, which is one of the fastest replies I have gotten from Belgium.

I did find the date on the reply interesting. When royals make up cards like this to send out to people, they usually either include no date, include just the month and year, or use the date of the occasion people are writing for (e.g. birthday). This way you don't have a problem of the date on the card being off from the date they send the reply, which sometimes can be weeks or even a month or two. In this case it was 11 days.

As far as the significance of January 8th: Queen Paola was released from the hospital on January 3rd, but we didn't find out till January 8th. So maybe it comes from that, or maybe that was just when her secretary was typing up the card. Not a big deal, I just find things like this interesting.

Also Check Out:
Other Replies 
Christmas 2016 Replies
Writing to the Royals

Monday, 23 January 2017

Princess Anne & Sir Tim - Christmas Reply (2016)

A lovely piece of Royal mail arrived today.

The letter is from Princess Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. I had written to the couple in Late November to wish them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

The letter was written January 9th, postmarked January 12th, and arrived today January 23rd.
So in all it took a bit less than 2 months for the reply to arrive, which for Princess Anne is a bit surprising.

With my previous letter to her, Princess Anne's office had done the amazing job sending out a reply within days of receiving my letter. Obviously with a busy time like Christmas it's completely understandable they are very busy and it would take longer.

The letter is like the typical reply from Princess Anne's office. What is interesting is reply was sent from Mrs. Isabella Ward, Princess Anne's Office Secretary. (An office secretary is a few steps down from a Private Secretary.) This is the first time I have gotten a reply from her. 

My previous replies have all been from Commander Anne Sullivan of the Royal Navy. She is Anne's Assistant Private Secretary.  

I've gotten replies for about 40% of my Christmas letters so far. So I have still got a lot more waiting to do,  although there are some I don't expect to get a reply from. I know last year I got about 1/3 of my replies in February, and it looks like that will happen again this year. 

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium - Christmas reply (2016)

A lovely piece of royal mail was waiting for me when I got home from a weekend trip.

The reply is from King Albert II and Queen Paola of Belgium. They are King Philippe's parents. King Albert reigned from 1993 - 2013, before abdicating.

Their Christmas reply is a lovely card. On the front is a photo of the couple, with their 1st and only great-grandchild, HI&RH Archduchess Anna Astrid. She was born in May 2016, to the proud parents, TI&RH Prince Amedeo & Princess Elisabetta.

On the back is a short note. Translated it says, "Best Wishes for the Year 2017."  The note is in 4 languages, Belgium's official languages (French, Dutch, German) and Italian (which is Queen Paola's native language, as she was born and raised in Italy).

The two signatures are printed on.

Also Check Out:
Other Replies from Belgium
Other Replies 
Christmas 2016 Replies

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Cambridge + 2nd Yorks Christmas Reply (2016)

Two royal Christmas replies came while I was away on a business trip! Both of them are from British Royals.

The Cambridges

The first reply came from the Cambridges. It's the typical reply from the Cambridges. The photo on the front of the card was from the Cambridges trip to Canada (attending Children's party at Government House in Victoria, September 29th).

The photo was taken by Royal Photographer, Chris Jackson. Although it is miscaptioned on the back of the card.

The typed message on the back is the exact same as their card last year.

The Yorks

The second reply is from the Yorks! This is the 2nd Christmas reply I have received from the Yorks this year. I had written two Christmas letter (one to Andrew, and one to Sarah) because the couple is divorced.

I received my reply from Prince Andrew last week. It was a letter; you can see it here.

The second reply was also marked with Prince Andrew's Cypher, but I'm assuming this is a reply for my letter to Duchess Sarah. Yes, Andrew and Sarah are the most bazaar divorced couple I know. I love that they are still great friends, and do a joint Christmas Card.

The reply is a rather lovely tri-fold card, with the Duke of York's cypher on the front.

The 1st side of the card features a private photo of Prince Andrew, Eugenie, and Beatrice on the Queen's estate at Balmoral (Summer).

There is also a photo of Eugenie, Sarah and Beatrice in London attending the wedding of Petra Palumbo and Lord Lovat (May 14th).

The other side of the card also features a private photo of Eugenie, Beatrice, and Andrew at Balmoral (Summer).

A handwritten note is printed on the card. It looks like it was written by Duchess Sarah.
The four signatures are also printed on.

The two dogies may be the same ones featured on the Family's 2014 Christmas card.

The final photos show Princess Eugenie and Beatrice doing charity work.

Princess Eugenie attending a service at Westminster Abbey to commemorate William Wilberforce for his work combat Modern Slavery (October 12th).

Princess Beatrice during the Virgin Strive Challenge triathlon in Italy in support of her charity Big Change (September 29th).

This reply is the first I have received with the Windsor Castle postmarked, where the letter was franked and processed. This wasn't actually sent from Windsor Castle; it would have been sent from Prince Andrew's home, the Royal Lodge, which sits on the Windsor Great Park. Duchess Sarah currently lives in Switzerland but has a place at the Royal Lodge for when she is in England.

We see the same thing with replies sent from Royal Residences and Offices in London, they are postmarked Buckingham Palace.

Also Check Out:
2016 Christmas Replies
Other Replies from British Royals
Other Replies

Monday, 9 January 2017

The Yorks' Christmas Reply (2016)

A lovely Christmas reply from the Yorks: Prince Andrew and his two daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.

It's the first letter, I've gotten this Christmas Season, the rest so far have been cards.

Not too much to say about the letter. It's a fairly typical reply from the Yorks. I was a little uncertain if I would get anything this year, as I didn't receive a reply for Christmas last year. (I did get a reply for Christmas 2014, which was the first time I have ever written to Andrew or his daughters.)

Also Check Out: 
Christmas 2016 replies
Other Replies from British Royals
Other Replies

Friday, 6 January 2017

Monaco Twins Birthday Reply (2016)

I had a good laugh when I saw this piece of Royal Mail today.

Since Christmas and Monaco Twin's Birthday are so close together, I usually just send one letter. The Monaco Royals have always sent back two separate replies for Christmas and the Twin's Birthday, which is what they did this year. 

However, what is interesting is that they sent the birthday reply to my old address (I moved back in February). Luckily, the post office is still forwarding my mail to my new address! 

You can see their Christmas reply here, which was sent to my new address. And postmarked the day before this one.

I've always known that Royal's office will occasionally stores people's address on their computers. Which makes sense if they have to type out the address for the envelope. They don't store everybody's, but will if the letter is particularly touching and they want to make note of it, or if they think the person will write again. 

I find it very exciting to know that someone at the Royals's office knows who I am, even if it's just a computer. 

But it's also very interesting because the last 3 replies from Monaco (Albert's Birthday, 5th 
Wedding Anniversary, and Christmas) were all correctly sent to my new address. So why now is something being sent to my old address? 

This same thing happened with Duchess Camilla's birthday reply earlier this year. 

The Reply is almost exactly the same as last year's birthday reply for the Twins. 

One side of the reply is English. The other is French. 

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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Queen's Grandchildren "Official" Engagements (2017)

The Queen's Grandchildren Peter PhilipsZara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise& Viscount James don't regularly undertake "official" engagements like William or Harry. They are not regularly listed on the CC, and do not receive any funding for their charitable work.

They do however attend the occasional official engagement and do work for various charities and organisations. They also hold a number of patronages.

This is a list of the Official Engagements PeterZaraBeatriceEugenieLouise& James attend (e.g. Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral). This list also includes events they attend as a member of the Royal Family or as Patron of the organisation.

We try not to include charity work that related to their job or events they attend in a private capacity, except when they are "official engagements". But it is hard to draw a line between what should be included, and what should not. Also, things aren't widely publicised so, undoubtedly, we will miss some things.

Count for 2017:
Peter - 3 
Zara - 3 
Beatrice - 23
Eugenie - 27
Louise - 1
James - 1

January (0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0)
Saturday 7th 
  • Eugenie attended the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate festival in South Africa 
    • presented the LQP 2017 trophy
February (0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0)
Monday 27th 
  • Eugenie attend UK-India Year of Culture Reception at Buckingham Palace
March  (0, 1, 1, 3, 0, 0)
Friday 3rd
  • Zara attend official opening of the new Clubhouse and Changing Rooms at Minchinhampton Rugby Football Club
    • With mum Princess Anne, and husband Mike
Wednesday 8th 
  • Eugenie attend a celebration at UK consulate in New York City to mark International Women's Day
Thursday 9th 
  • Eugenie visit Safe Horizon domestic violence shelter in New York City with  Voices of Hope
    • With British Consul General, Antonia Romeo 
Friday 10th 
  • Eugenie attend a UN Trustfund End Violence Against Women conference in New York City
Sunday 30th 
  • Beatrice attend the 100th Teenage Cancer Gig at Royal Albert Hall 
    • With mum Duchess Sarah (Joint Patron)
April  (0, 0, 2, 1, 0, 0)

(April 4-13: Eugenie's "Be Inspired" Art Auction to raise funds for Children and Arts)

Thursday 6th 
  • Beatrice attend We Day in New York City
(Sunday 16th: PeterBeatriceEugenieLouise& James attend Easter Service at Windsor Castle)
(Mid April: Beatrice judge Easter bonnet pageant for Sick Kids Friends Foundation)

Thursday 25th 
  • Beatrice and Eugenie attend Pitch at Palace at St. James Palace
May  (0, 0, 9, 5, 0, 0)
Tuesday 2nd 
  • Beatrice attend Milken Institute Global Summit at the Beverly Hilton in California 
    • With dad, Andrew
Thursday 4th 
  • Beatrice visit Facebook Headquarters in California 
    • With dad, Andrew
  • Beatrice visit Cisco Systems in California 
    • With dad, Andrew
Saturday 13th 
  • Beatrice run in Lady Garden Charity 5K in Hyde Park
Monday 15th
  • Beatrice attended Oscar's Book Prize Awards Ceremony 
Tuesday 16th 
  • Beatrice attended Queen's Garden Party at Buckingham Palace
Wednesday 17th 
  • Eugenie speaks at China Exchange's Prudential Series of "exceptional people w/ extraordinary lives"
    • Beatrice attended
Sunday 22nd  
  • Beatrice attended Fashion for Relief in Cannes France in aid of Children in Crisis
    • With mum, Sarah
Monday 22nd 
  • Beatrice Eugenie attended RHS Chelsea Flower Show
  • Beatrice Eugenie attended Ultra Awards in aid of Children in Crisis
    • With mum, Sarah
Tuesday 25th 
  • Eugenie attended Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents Garden Party at Buckingham Palace
  • Eugenie meet with Mersey Girls at Buckingham Palace (RNOH Redevelopment Appeal)
June  (2, 2, 6, 70, 0)
Monday 12th 
  • Eugenie host UNAIDS Gala in Switzerland 
Saturday 17th 
  • PeterBeatrice & Eugenie attend Trooping the Colour
Monday 19th 
  • Beatrice, & Eugenie, host reception at St. James Palace for Charity: Water
Tuesday 20th
  • PeterZara, Beatrice, & Eugenie attend Royal Ascot
    • With Queen & Royal Family 
Thursday 22nd
  • Zara, Beatrice, & Eugenie attend Royal Ascot
    • With Queen & Royal Family 
Friday 23rd
  • Beatrice, & Eugenie attend Royal Ascot
    • With Queen, Royal Family, & Eugenie's boyfriend Jack 
Saturday 24th
  • Beatrice attend Royal Ascot
    • With Queen & Royal Family 
Friday 30th 
  • Eugenie attend Children in Crisis Reception
    •  With mum Sarah, & boyfriend Jack Brooksbank 
July  (1, 0, 0, 4, 0, 1)
Saturday 15th 
  • James attended the Royal Windsor Rose and Horticultural Show
    • With mum, Countess Sophie
Monday 24th - Glasgow, Scotland 
  • Eugenie visited Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA) at Community Safety Glasgow
  • Eugenie visited Project Ability, a visual arts organisation supporting people with disabilities and mental health issues.
  • Eugenie visited Horatios Garden, a garden for patients of the Spinal Unit at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • Eugenie visited Teenage Cancer Trust at Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity 
Friday 28th - Canada
  • Peter & Autumn Philips attend the lunch of the 2017 Women Build for Habitat for Humanity, in Canada
August  (0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0)

September  (0, 0, 2, 1, 1, 0)
    Sunday 3rd 
    • Louise attend the Burghley Horse Trials
      • with mum, Countess Sarah
    Wednesday 13th 
    Wednesday 20th
    • Beatrice speak at WE Day at the UN headquarters in New York City, USA
    Wednesday 27th
    • Beatrice open WE Movement's new Global Learning Center in Toronto, Canada

    October  (0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0)

    November (0, 0, 3, 3, 0, 0)

    Wednesday 1st 
    • Eugenie host book launch the Be Cool Be Nice book in the House of Lords
    Thursday 2nd 
    • Eugenie attend the annual Poppy Ball hosted by the Royal British Legion.
    Monday 13th 
    • Beatrice attend book launch the Be Cool Be Nice book in the House of Lords
    Friday 17th
    •  Beatrice visit Children's Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury
    Monday 20th 
    Saturday 25th 
    • Eugenie attend UN Trust Fund gala for International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
    December  (0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0)
    Wednesday 13th
    • Eugenie (Committee Member) attend The Charges II gala at Royal Horticultural Society Halls
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    Tuesday, 3 January 2017

    Christmas Reply - Monaco and Belgium (2016)

    Two Christmas replies arrived while I was away over the holiday, from Monaco and Belgium. 

    The first reply we will look at is from Monaco. The reply is similar to their previous Christmas Replies. They did get this out faster than previous years, by 1-2 weeks.  

    One thing I have alway said is Monaco has the nicest quality replies. You can't see it in the picture, but this envelope is actually sparkly, if you hold it to the light just right. The Monaco Royals have very beautiful envelopes, in a variety of colours and textures. Usually they pick an envelope that matches the colour and texture of the letter or card they are sending. 

    The stamp on this reply is of Enrico Caruso, a famous Italian opera singer  (1873 – 1921). Enrico Caruso performed all over the world, including Monaco. The stamp was released in March 2016. The Postmark says "Joyeuses Fetes," which is french for Happy Holidays. It's the same postmark they use every year during that time around Christmas, before New Years. 

    Inside is a card. The front features the couple's joint monogram in red and a lovely family photo that was taken in early December at the palace.

    And again it's really nice quality. It is heavy paper, that sparkles in the light. The photo isn't printed on, rather it glued onto the front. This allows them to have the heavy paper, while also have a very nice quality photo. 

    On the inside of the card is a message, in 3 languages: French, English and Monegasque. They change up the message each year. At the bottom of the card is Albert and Charlene's signatures. They are printed on, and the same ones they have been using for years.  



    Now to the 2nd reply! I find the date in the postmark very interesting. In the USA, where I live, Christmas is a federal holiday. And when a federal holidays fall on a Sunday, federal employees are given Monday off to "observed" that holiday. Saturday holidays are observed on Fridays.

    In the USA, there was no mail on Monday 26th December 2016, because the post office was closed to observe Christmas. So you wouldn't have any mail postmarked with that date, but in Belgium the post office was obviously open for business, and post marking mail. I do hope the Palace's office staff was able to get a few days off after Christmas, and this had been put in the mail box to be picked up, just before the holidays.

    Inside the envelope is a card. The front of the card is the exact same as last year. For more on the monogram, check out the post on their Christmas reply from last year. 

    The inside of the card has a family photo and message. (L-R: 1st row- Gabriel, Mathilde, Philippe, Elisabeth. 2nd row- Emmanuel, Eleonore)

    The message and names are the exact same as last year, except the date has obviously been changed. The message is in Dutch, French, German, and English.

    The King and Queen's signatures are printed onto the card, with their 4 children's names typed below (in order of age).  

    You can check out the other 2016 Christmas Replies we have received so far here

    Also Check Out:
    Other Replies from Monaco
    Other Replies from Belgium
    Other Replies 

    Monday, 2 January 2017

    Prince Albert of Monaco's New Year's Eve Speech - English Translation (2016)

    Dear compatriots, residents and friends!

    As the year ends with many countries experiencing terrorist acts, conflicts and humanitarian crises, our traditional holidays greetings seem all the more necessary.

     It is thus from the bottom of our hearts, with Princess Charlène and our children Jacques and Gabriella, we present to you this evening our most fervent wishes for a serene, happy and peaceful 2017.

    Indeed, we believe that when, in their diversity, people are mobilizing to draw together, along with their leader, the prospects for justice and peace, the return of harmony and security is not a utopia.

    We also know that in the chaos of suffering there arise men, women, young people who, in reverse and against everything, pose acts of generosity in the service of their fellows so tried. May these festive times enlighten us on these manifestations of solidarity often discreet but so comforting.

    Because it can not be insensitive, our country has long been committed to being close to these situations of human distress. The principality has the chance to be a prosperous country thanks to the efforts of all. Let everyone here be thanked for his work, for the confidence he places in Monaco and for his contribution to living together.

    The current situation calls for vigilance by all. We know that we can count on the services in charge of security to ensure effective monitoring and action.

    For my part, I will continue to work internationally to ensure that commitments made in the environmental, humanitarian, health and education fields are maintained and consolidated. Awareness of global warming and its causes is irreversible. It is our responsibility to take the strong actions required by thinking of future generations.

    I am determined, along with my Government, to continue to fight against other scourges, including corruption. I would also like to recall that our discussions with the European Union must continue under my impetus, step by step, in objectivity and lucidity, without bias. The necessary weightings will be made when the time comes to present our specificities without ever departing from the balance that has always made our strength.

    I call on our community to remain united and united around our institutions. They have proved that they are the guarantor of our stability and of the same progress.

    On the verge of this news, I wish you, your family and all the people who are close to you, the realization of your most cherished projects and a full development. To each and every one of you, Happy New Year 2017!

    January Q&A (2017)

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

    Question 1: Could we send letters to Her Majesty the Queen directly to Sandringham House? Or shall we always write to Buckingham Palace?

    Answer: Always write to Buckingham Palace. The Queen isn't the one who answers her letters, it is the Correspondence Section at Buckingham Palace. So, you always want to write to Buckingham Palace. This way it will get to the correct people, whose job it is to deal with the Queen's mail. Letters sent to other royal residence will likely get forwarded to Buckingham Palace to be dealt with by the correspondence section.

    It's a lot of work to process and sort the hundreds of pieces of mail the Queen receives everyday. You have to open it, figure out who it is really meant for. There will be some letters that should be forwarded to the Queen's Private Secretary, the Master of the Household, the Lord Chamberlain, or the head of the Royal Collection's office, etc. Harassing or threatening letter need to be forwarded to Scotland Yard. Then you would need to sort the mail for reason for writing, or event. And this would be all before one of the Queen's Ladies-in-Waiting even sees a letters.

    Occasionally, you see people get responses from Ladies-in-Waiting from other royal residences: Sandringham, Windsor, etc.  All those responses are from letters sent to Buckingham Palace, that were processes, and sorted there. Then some were taken along with the Ladies-in-Waiting, so they have some work to do during their stay at the royal residence. You just have to get lucky to get a reply from one of the royal residences.

    Question 2: Does Her Majesty the Queen see "normal" letters from normal people? Is there any sort of selection from the ladies-in-waiting who would tell her about the most beautiful letters or something like that?

    Answer: Yes, the Queen is shown a selection of letter from a diverse array of people and issues. We don't have a way of knowing which letters she read, as the replies are handled by ladies-in-waiting like the rest of the letters. But certainly if you get a reply from the Royal Residence the Queen was staying at, and it's a more personal reply, there is a chance that the Queen may have seen your letter.

    Question 3: Do Kate and William sign autographs at public walkabouts?

    Answer: No. The Royals are not allowed to sign autographs on walkabouts. 

    Question 4: Do you know when the Duchess of Cambridges birthday reply will be sent out?

    Answer: They will send out replies when they get to it. They don't really have a set time they do it each year. When you write for the same event each year you will find the response time varies, it just depends how busy they are. 
    Clarence House gets hundreds of replies a day, and correspondence section staff isn't that big. 

    But on average it takes about 1-2 months to get a reply.  So expect something in February, but don't be surprised if it comes in early March. 

    I've gotten a reply in Mid January, before I even got a reply for my Christmas letter to the Cambridges. I've also gotten a reply in late February.