MonacoThe 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