Monday, 30 January 2017

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

1 comment:

  1. Loved the letter from Prince Harry, really nice to get both. Saw in a UK paper that there is a job in the correspondence section at Clarence House!