Thursday, 1 February 2018

Spain and Luxembourg Christmas Reply (2017)

Two Replies arrived today! One from Spain and the other from Luxembourg.

King Felipe and Queen Letizia of Spain

I was very surprised to receive this reply. I have written to King Felipe and Queen Letizia a number of times over the past few years (for Birthdays, Christmas, Daugther's 1st Communion, etc) and never received a reply from them. 

I did a survey of Gert's Royals readers last year and about half of them who wrote to King Felipe and Queen Letizia last year for Christmas received a reply, and half didn't. And that always seems to be the case, with the couple. They send replies, but they don't send it to everyone. I don't understand why.  

(I have written to King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia a few times over the years. I'm not 100% sure, but I think I've always gotten a reply from them.)

But finally, after 3 years of writing to King Felipe and Queen Letizia for Christmas, a Christmas reply finally came! 

The envelope is pretty simple. The envelope is franked with a generic blue "Franqueo Pagado, Cartas/ Postage Paid, Letter."

The blue stamp "Casa De S.M. El Rey - Protocolo/ Household of H.M. The King - Protocol" is printed on the envelope, not actually stamped.


The back of the envelope features the King's Coat of Arms. What is interesting about the envelope is it has a little thing to tear the envelope open, which is nice because it helps keep the envelope in nice condition. I haven't seen any other royals use envelopes like this.



Inside is the family's Christmas Card. It's the largest Christmas reply I've received so far, slightly larger than the Monaco Christmas Card. The front of the card features King Felipe and Queen Letizia's joint monogram, an intertwined F & L, under a crown.

The simple, rounded ends monogram is certainly a bit unique. A lot of the other royals use either block letters, very curly and twirly letters, or things with lots of flourishes.


The inside of the Card features a photo of the family taken during Spain's National Day celebration in October. Princess Leonor (12) is in Red, and Sofia (10) is in Pink. It's a very lovely photo. But because the photo is printed right the paper, which is textured, and it isn't photo paper, the photo isn't the best quality. One thing I always love about the Monaco Christmas Card is the photo is printed on photo paper, which is attached to the card, so it's very lovely and high quality. 


The inside of the card features a typed message, as well as a hand-written message from King Felipe that is printed on the card. This handwritten message is printed on all the English language cards. King Felipe undoubtedly wrote versions of the message in a few different languages.

The handwritten message reads: Thank you so much for your Christmas Card. We also send you our best wishes with our warmest regards. 

I sort of laughed when I read the message from King Felipe because I sent a letter, not a card. But I like it. The handwritten message is a great way to make the card few very personal, even though it's being sent to everyone.


The family signatures are also printed on the card. What is very lovely is that they have new signatures each year. So if you look back at past cards you can see the changes in title and the little girls growing up and changing their signature. 

The back of the card features the King's Coat of Arms.  



It is very interesting to compare the King's Coat of Arms on the envelope and the card. They are both the same coat of arms, but are represented differently.

With a coat of arms, the thing that is registered and protected is the written description, also known as the blazon. A coat of arms can have different versions of it, that are all corrects, as long as they all follow the same description. For example, the lion in the 2nd quarter could be drawn differently each time, so long as it is always a lion and always in the 2nd quarter.


You will notice the collar around the Coat of Arms. That is the Collar of the Golden Fleece. Princess Leonor was officially presented with her Collar of the Golden Fleece earlier this week on the King's 50th Birthday. So, her coat of arms features the Collar of the Golden Fleece as well.

Grand Duke Henri & Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg

The 2nd reply is from Luxembourg. This is also a Christmas Reply. The envelope is the usual and features a lovely Christmas Stamp from 2016.



The card on the inside is the usual reply from Luxembourg. It seems like no two replies from Luxembourg are ever exactly the same. There is always a little difference in terms of font, font color, font size, spacing, alignment, date placement, crown placement, style of title, etc.

While I certainly appreciate them being the opposite of Crown Prince Couple of Denmark, whose replies are identical year after year, not having a set form has lead to some sloppiness or awkwardnesover the years. For example, here you will notice they mistakenly wrote January 2017, instead of 2018.


Should you wish to see the Christmas Reply from the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess from last year, that I actually received in January 2017, you can find it here

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