Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Spain State Visit to UK (2017) - Schedule

Day 0 - Tuesday, July 11th 
  • King Felipe and Queen Letizia arrive in the UK at Luton airport. They will be met at the Airport by Viscount Brookeborough, Lord-in-Waiting.
  • King Felipe and Queen Letizia stay at London Hotel.

Day 1 - Wednesday 12th
  • Greeted at London hotel by Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla
  • Official Welcome at Horse Guard Parade 
    • Inspect Troops
    • Carriage Procession to Buckingham Palace
    • With Queen, Philip, Charles & Camilla
  • Lunch with the Queen & Royal Family at Buckingham Palace 
    • Exchange Official Gifts
    • View Royal Collection Display
  • Tea at Clarence House with Charles & Camilla
  • Visit Parliament 
  • State Banquet at Buckingham Palace 
  • Spend the night at Buckingham Palace 

Day 2 - Thursday 13th 
  • Attend a UK-Spain Business Forum at Mansion House
    • with Prince Andrew
    • Speech by King
  • Visit Westminster Abbey
    • Lay a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior 
    • With Prince Harry
  • Attend reception for members of the Spanish Community at Spanish Embassy
  • Meeting with Prime Minister at Downing Street 
  • Banquet hosted by Lord Mayor of London
    • Speech by King Felipe
    • With Princess Anne & Vice Admiral Sir Tim Lawrence 
  • Spend the night at Buckingham Palace

Day 3 - Friday 14th 
  • Working Breakfast
  • Say Goodbye to the Queen & Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace
  • Visit the Francis Crick Institute 
    • With Prince Andrew
    • Day of Engagements 
  • Visit Weston Library in Oxford
    • View an exhibition of Spanish treasures 
  • Lunch at Oxford's Divinity School
    • King will give speech
  • Visit Exeter College, home of the King Alfonso XIII Professorship of Spanish Studies and the Queen Sofía Fellowship in Spanish. 
  • Official End of Tour
  • King Felipe and Queen Letizia depart. They are seen off at RAF Brize Norton by Lord Chamberlain
?
  • Return Banquet in Spain 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Prince Philip & Crown Prince Frederik - Birthday Replies (2017)

Two royal replies came last week.

Prince Philip

The first reply is from the UK. I wrote to Prince Philip at the beginning of the month for his 96th Birthday. This lovely reply came on Thursday, so it was very quick.

The reply is very similar to Prince Philip's previous birthday replies, but the message has slightly different wording each year. 



The letter is written by Captian Ben Tracey, who is Prince Philip's new Assistant Equerry. Prince Philip's old Assistant Equerry, Captain Frederick Moynan, just finished up his 2 year service.

Equerries are officers in the Armed Forces who serve in a Royal's household. Equerry's often help coordinate engagements, travel, etc. There are some Permanent Equerry's who service for a extended time. But most of the Equerry are young officers, who service for a 2 year period. 

The position of Equerry for a Royal will often rotate through the different branches of the Armed Forces.


Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark 

The 2nd reply is from Denmark. I had written in May for Frederik's 49th Birthday. The reply is exactly the same as previous years.





Also Check Out:

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Queen Máxima of Netherlands - Birthday Reply (2017)

A lovely reply arrived from the Netherland's today. I had written to Queen Máxima in May for her 46th birthday.

The envelope is the usual from the Netherland Royals.  The message under the Blue Crown reads Dienst Van Het Koninklijk Huis (Bureau of the Royal Household).



Inside is a simple pre-typed thank you note, with the Queen's monogram on top. The reply is exactly the same as Máxima's  Birthday reply from last year.



The reply arrived less than a month after I wrote, so it is a great response time. It was a little earlier than last year's reply.

I haven't gotten a reply for the letter I wrote for King Willem-Alexander's Birthday in April. His birthday is a few weeks before his wife. But it's understandable that they are busy, especially since it was his 50th Birthday this year. I have seen other people get a reply for his birthday, so I expect mine shortly. 

Also Check Out:
Other Replies
Replies from the Netherlands
Writing to the Royals

Current British Royal Staff

Obviously not a complete list of staff. While I will try to keep this up-to-date and thorough, most staff appointments are not officially announced. So, we don't always know exactly when people start, leave, get promoted, etc.

To help denote how up-to-date this information is, staff names are:
  • Black: NOT confirmed they still work for the Royals as of 2017. But obviously, since they are still on the list, I don't have reason to believe they have left. 
  • Colour Matching Royal: Confirmed they are working for the Royal as of 2017
  • Colour & Underlined: Confirmed still working in the same position for the Royal as of 2017
Will reset everyone to Black in January of 2018, and start the process of confirming again that they are still working for Royal & are in same position. 

Queen Elizabeth II
  • Mr. Edward Young
    • Private Secretary (2017-Present)
    • Deputy Private Secretary (2007 - 2017)
    • Assistant Private Secretary (2004-2007)
  • Samantha Cohen
    • Deputy Private Secretary? (2017 - Present)
    • Assistant Private Secretary (2010 - 2017?)
    • Press and Communications Secretary (2007-2010?)
    • Assistant Press Secretary (2001-2007?)
      • Mainly for Prince Andrew
  • Major Nana Kofi Twumasi-Ankrah
    • Equerry (2017 -Present)
  • Angela Kelly
    • Personal Assistant, Adviser, and Curator (Jewellery, Insignias, and Wardrobe)(2002 - Present)
    • Senior Dresser (1996-2002)
    • Dresser (1993 -1996)
  • The Duchess of Grafton 
    • Mistress of the Robes (1967 - Present)
    • Lady in Waiting (1953-1967)
  • Virginia Ogilvy, Countess of Airlie 
    • Lady in Waiting (1973 - present)
  • Lady Susan Hussey
    • Lady in Waiting (?1960-Present)
  • Dame Annabel Whitehead 
    • Lady-in-Waiting (2002? - 2015 Present)
    • Lady-in-Waiting to Princess Margret (1971-2002)
  • Mary Anne Morrison 
    • Lady in Waiting (1960? -Present)
  • Lady Diana Farnham
    • Lady in Waiting (1987–Present)
  • Lady Richenda Elton
    • Lady in Waiting (1987-Present)
  • Jennifer Gordon-Lennox 
    • Lady-in-Waiting (2009-Present)
    • Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Mum (1994? -2002)
  • Mrs. Robert de Pass (Mrs. Philippa de pass)
    • Lady-in-Waiting  (?1992- Present)
  • Lady Elizabeth Leeming
    • Lady-in-Waiting (2017- Present)
  • Mrs. Simon Rhodes (Susan)
    • Lady-in-Waiting  (2017 - Present)
Prince Phillip
  • Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell 
    • Private Secretary and Treasurer (2010-Present)
  • Captain Ben Tracey
    • Assistant Equerry (2017-Present) 
    Prince Charles & Camilla
    • Mr. Clive Alderton
      • Private Secretary (2015-Present)
      • Private Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2009-2012)
      • Deputy Private Secretary (2006-2008)
    • Mr. Scott Furssedonn-Wood
      • Deputy Private Secretary (2017? - present)
    • Mrs. Sophie Densham (or Sophia)
      •  Assistant Private Secretary to Camilla (2005-Present)
    • Mrs. Joy-Maria Camm (or Joy Camm)
      • Part-Time Assistant Private Secretary to Camilla (2005-Present)
      • Worked for Camilla before her marriage to Charles in 2005
    • Mrs. Amanda MacManus
      • Assistant Private Secretary to Camilla (2005-Present)
      • Worked for Camilla before her marriage to Charles in 2005
    • Mr. Julian Payne
      • Communication's Secretary (2016-Present) 
    • Mrs Tosanbanmi Efua Eva Williams (Formerly, Miss Eva Omaghomi)
      • Deputy Communications Secretary (2013 - Present)
      • Assistant Coummunications Secretary (2008?-2013)
    • Mrs. Laura Sullivan
      • Assistant Communications Secretary (2013-Present)
      • Press Officer (2011-2013)
    • Major Harry Pilcher
      • Equerry (2016-Present)
    • Mr. Mark Leishman
      • Private Secretary (2009 - Present)
      • Senior Deputy Private Secretary (2009)
      • Assistant Private secretary (?- 2005-?)
      • ?(2003-?)
    • Mrs. Claudia Spens
      • Head of Correspondence Section (?-2013- Present)
      For Cambridges + Harry: see detailed staff list here
        Prince Andrew
        • Mrs. Amanda Thirsk
          • Private Secretary (2012-Present)
        • Miss Letitia Debenham
          • Assistant Private Secretary (2017 - Present)
        • Mr. David Pogson 
          • Communications Secretary (? - Present)
          • Buckingham Palace Communications Secretary (1997-?)
          Prince Edward & Sophie
          • Mr. Timothy Roberts (Tim)
            • Private Secretary (2014-Present)
          • Mrs. Annabelle Galletley (Mrs. Angus Galletley)
            • Assistant Private Secretary and Lady-in-Waiting (1993-Present)
          • Mrs. Suzanne Lofthouse-Jackson
            • Assistant Private Secretary and Lady-in-Waiting (2000-Present)
            Princess Anne
            • Captain Nicholas Wright (Captain Nick Wright)
              • Private Secretary (2002-Present)
            • Commander Anne Sullivan (Mrs. Anne Sullivan)
              • Assistant Private Secretary (?2011- present)
            • Mrs. Caroline Nunneley (Mrs. William Nunneley)
              • Lady in Waiting (?-1993-present)
            • Mrs. Margaret Hammond (Mrs. Brian Hammond)
              • Lady in Waiting (2005-Present)
            • Mrs. Elizabeth Harriet Bowes-Lyon (Mrs. David Bowes-Lyon)
              • Lady in Waiting (1990-Present)
            • Countess Leonora Lichfield
              • Extra Lady in Waiting (?-1999-Present)
            • Mrs. Timothy Holderness-Roddam (Mrs. Jane Holderness-Roddam)
              • Lady in Waiting (1998?- Present)
            • Mrs. Malcolm Innes 
              • Lady in Waiting (1977-Present)
            Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
            • Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Todd
              • Private Secretary (2012-Present)
            • Major Nicholas Barne
              • Extra Equerry to Their Royal Highnesses (2004 -Present) 
              • Private Secretary, Comptroller, and Equerry (1989-2003)
              • Private Secretary, Comptroller, and Equerry to Princess Alice (1989-2003)
            • Mrs. Lucinda Baker (or Mrs. Grant Baker) (Previously Miss Lucinda Hanbury)
              • Deputy Private Secretary  & Lady in Waiting to The Duchess of Gloucester (?- present)
              • Extra Lady in Waiting (2004-?)
            • Mrs. Michael Wigley
              • Lady in Waiting (?-1982-2015-?)
            • Mrs. Helen Page (Mrs. Howard Page)
              • Lady-in-waiting (1993-Present)
              • Lady-in-waiting Princess Alice (?-2004)
            Duke and Duchess of Kent
            • Mr. Nicholas Marden 
              • Private Secretary (2011-Present)
            • Mr. Nicolas Adamson
              • Extra Equery (2011-present)
              • Private Secretary (?1993 -2011)
            • Captain Miguel Holloway
              • Equerry (2016- Present)
            • Mrs. Serena Browne 
              • Personal Assistant to Duchess of Kent (?- Present)
            Princess Alexandra
            • Mrs. Diane Duke (Mrs. Brian Duke)
              • Private Secretary and Comptroller (?-2008-Present)
              • Mrs. Meriel Afia (Mrs. Peter Afia)
                • Lady in Waiting (?1993- Present)
              Prince and Princess Micheal of Kent
              • Mrs. Camilla Rogers
                • Private Secretary (2017 - Present)
              • Miss Elsa Meagher
                • Personal Assistant to the Private Secretary (2016- Present)
                • Personal Secretary (2015-2016)

              Monday, 5 June 2017

              Royal Response to London Bridge + Borough Market Attack (2017)


              Not everyone makes a public statement after an attack. Often they call and send their condolences privately.

              Belgium

              Luxembourg 

              "It is with great pain that the Grand Duchess and I have learned of the terrible attack that occurred at London Bridge and Borough Market yesterday.

              "Our most heartfelt sympathy goes out to the victims and their families.

              "The Luxembourg people join us in sending to Your Majesty a message of compassion and solidarity, in the face of this new attack in the heart of your capital." - Grand Duke Henri in Letter to Queen

              Netherlands


              "Again is Great Britain hit by a terrorist act. Our thoughts are with the victims in London and with the people who were injured. With them and with their families, we joined on this sad day." – WA and Máxima

              Spain

              "The British people will override the barbarism and unreason. We are today United in pain and always defending freedom."

              Sweden

              Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
              LONDON

              It is with great sadness I find Your country being struck by a terrible attack a third time this spring. The Queen and I wish to convey our sincere condolences on the tragic loss of lives in London, Saturday evening. We offer our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the people of the United Kingdom.

              CARL GUSTAF R

              Royal Palace, Stockholm
              5 June 2017

              Thursday, 1 June 2017

              June Q&A (2017)

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

              Question 1: What do you think of Meghan?

              Answer: I like Meghan. She is the first one of Prince Harry's girlfriends I've really liked and could see him marrying. I think she would make a good Princess. But I think they still have a ways to go in their relationship before they take that next step and get engaged. 

              Question 2: Could you tell me if Princess Diana could be titled as Princess Charles of Wales? And why?

              Answer: Diana could be called Princess Charles of Wales, but she didn't go by it. She used "HRH Princess of Wales," and signed "Diana." When she divorced she became "Diana, Princess of Wales"

              The idea of Princess Charles of Wales stems back from a time when women took their husband's name when they married. If a women married a man called Mr. John Smith, she would be called Mrs. John Smith. A couple would be referred to jointly as "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith." 

              That practice has mostly died out. Today, women often just take their husband's last name. But we still see a bit of it. There are a bunch of older ladies-in-waiting that use their husband's names. 

              For example, The Duchess of Gloucester's Lady-in-Waiting goes by Mrs. Grant Baker (see top of letter). But signs her name Lucinda Baker.



              When a woman marries a man with a title, she takes on her husband's title. Lady Diana Spencer became Princess of Wales, when she married Charles. But some of the will also take on their husband's names. 

              Princess Michael of Kent's real name is Marie Christine. Before her marriage, she was known as Baroness Marie Christine von Reibnitz. When she married Prince Micheal of Kent, she took on that name and became Princess Michael of Kent.

              Question 3: Do you think that if I ask, Prince Albert will send me back a picture in respond to my letter on the occasion of his birthday?

              Answer: Prince Albert....I assume you mean King Albert of Belgium? who is having a birthday this month. I've never written to King Albert of Belgium for his birthday. I would expect his birthday reply will be similar to his wife's. I wrote to her last year, nice flat card, no picture.  

              Queen Paola's Birthday reply 2016

              I don't really know the Belgium Royals policy on sending pictures if requested. I've never asked any Royal for a photo. But you will certainly get a reply from King Albert for your birthday letter.

              Question 4: Does Belgian Family reply to letters on the occasion of Princess Astrid's birthday?

              Answer: I've never written to Princess Astrid, but I have seen other people get replies from her. So I expect you will get something if you write for her birthday. 

              Question 5: On which address should we send condolences to Prince Richard family?

              Answer: Which address you use depends on who are writing your letter to. For:

              • Princess Benedikt - send the letter to her office in Denmark
              • Prince Gustav - Family home in Germany
              • "Family of Prince Richard" Family home in Germany
              I wrote to Princess Benedikt in Denmark and got a reply from Germany that was from the whole family. Usually, I write to a specific person, and then in my letter say to "you and your family."

              I am slightly concerned that Prince Richard passed away 3 months ago. Ideally one should send condolences with-in a week or two of the death or funeral.

              But I think the family would still love to hear that people are thinking of them and send their condolences for Richard's death. But you want to make sure you comes off as genuinely sincere. 

              I think one of the problems with writing so late is can look very insincere like you didn't care enough or knew about this 3 months ago. 

              It kind of like if you sent a lovely letter to the Jordan Royals wishing them a "Merry Christmas." It can be a very lovely letter, and obviously, have good intentions, but they are Muslim and don't celebrate Christmas. 

              The two address are: 

              Denmark Royals

              Postboks 2143
              1015 København K
              DENMARK

              Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg Royals

              Schloss, Goetheplatz 8
              57319 Bad Berleburg
              GERMANY

              Question 6: Do you have an address for the Duke of Verdome?

              Answer: The address for Prince Jean, Duke of Vendôme is:

              Association Gens de France
              2 square d’Aumale
              F-28100 Dreux
              FRANCE

              Question 7: How long did you wait for a reply from Duchess of York?

              Answer: Between 1-2 Months, which is the usual wait time for Royals. 

              Question 8: Do you think I will get a reply for the letter I sent to Prince Philip when his retirement was announced? 

              Answer: Yes, give it time. It's just been a month since the announcement was made. 1-2 months is a normal response time. Could be longer.

              Question 9: Do Jordan royals reply?
              Answer: Not normally. I've only seen a few replies from them ever, and those were from years ago. 

              Question 10: I'm not sure what would be the appropriate way to express my condolences about the recent horrific events in Manchester and London. I'm writing a letter to William for his birthday and I thought I would add a message of condolence at the end but I'm stuck. Who am I supposed to offer my condolences to? Writing my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families is okay?


              Answer: As long as you are being respectful, there isn't really an inappropriate way to express your condolences. 

              Prince William doesn't exactly seem like the right person to write to send condolences for the attack. But I think it's fine if your writing for William's birthday to say: you were very upset by the news. The victims, their families and people of UK have been in your thoughts and prayers, etc. and if you wanted you could ask him to Please pass on your condolences. 

              You will see a lot of people writing to The Queen, Prime Minister, Major of London or Lord Mayor of Manchester. As the heads of the country, or that area, they are representatives of the people, so that is often who people will send condolences to. If you wanted to write to one of them: 

              (Queen)
              Buckingham Palace
              London SW1A 1AA
              UNITED KINGDOM

              ***
              (Prime Minister of UK)
              10 Downing Street
              London
              SW1A 2AA
              UNITED KINGDOM

              You can address her as:
              The Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister
              Prime Minister Theresa May
              Prime Minister May 
              The Prime Minister of the UK 
              etc. 

              ***
              (Mayor of London)
              City Hall 
              The Queen's Walk
              London SE1 2AA
              UNITED KINGDOM

              You can address him as:
              The Mayor of London
              Mr. Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London
              Mayor Sadiq Khan
              etc.

              ***
              (Lord Mayor of Manchester)
              Churchgate House
              56 Oxford Street
              Manchester
              M1 6EU
              UNITED KINGDOM

              You can address him as:
              The Lord Mayor of Manchester
              Mr. Andy Burnham, Lord Mayor of Manchester
              Lord Mayor Andy Burnham
              etc

              When I am often looking for the right way to say something, I often turn to the Royals themselves. Here is the Royal Responses to Manchester & London Bridge + Borough Market Attacks.

              Question 11: Do you think I'll get a reply in Dutch if I send a card in Dutch to King Willem-Alexander or Queen Maxima? Or do they just glance at the envelope and if it's from abroad, they automatically send the English thank you card? I'm a double major in English and Dutch and so far I've only written to them in English but I thought I would send my next letters in Dutch to try and get a Dutch reply.

              Answer: I can't say for certain you will get a Dutch reply, but I think it is very likely. They certainly have replies made up in Dutch. They obviously don't just look at the envelope when they send out replies. They need to look at the letter to see what the person is writing about so they can send the appropriate reply. So, they will see you wrote in Dutch. But there could be some disconnect between who reads your letter and the person who sends out the pre-made reply. 

              I don't think English is always automatic for foreign replies. There are a lot of Dutch citizens who live abroad, who speak Dutch. But Dutch isn't all that widely spoken outside of that area, so most of their letters from abroad will likely get English replies. With other countries like Belgium, with national languages that are more widely spoken, they might be sending out a lot of replies abroad in one of those national languages. 

              Question 12: Do you think there will be a special thank you card for the anniversary of the Queen and Prince Philip? I know they don't usually send out photo replies but since it's their seventieth, I thought they might.

              Answer: I wouldn't expect a photo. We have seen the Queen send out a special card with photos for big milestones, but not every milestone. Usually just the really big months long blowouts like her 90th birthday or Dimond Jubilee. 

              Question 13: What would be a polite way to ask for a photo of the Queen? I know she doesn't send back photo replies but I would love to have a photo of her that came from the Palace.

              Answer: You could just ask, "Would it be possible to get a photo of Her Majesty?"

              Question 14: I noticed that people writing to the Cambridges and/or Harry started getting letters from secretaries other than Miss Claudia Spens. All my letters came from her but now I saw someone who got a letter from Miguel Head. What changed? Is it because William is becoming a full time royal?


              Answer: This isn't anything new. William, Kate and Harry's secretaries and other staff have always answered the occasional letters. Most of the mail is handled by the correspondence section at Clarence House. They are going to deal with all the general mail, for normal people. But when people write for something specific that needs the private secretary attention, or if it needs/deserves a more personal reply then you might see a Private Secretary write it. Royal are shown a selection of letters, and it's very likely that they private secretaries will reply to those. 

              Question 15: What's the reply rate of Norwegian royals? 


              Answer: Very low. I've written to the family a bunch of times (Birthdays, Christmas, illness, etc.), only got 2 replies. One for King Harald's birthday in 2016 & one for Queen Sonja's birthday 2015. I haven't always gotten a reply from the King & Queen for their birthday, so they don't have any pattern.