Thursday 30 June 2016

Duchess of Gloucester - Birthday Reply (2016)

Another piece of Royal Mail arrived today!

I had written to the Duchess of Gloucester for her 70th birthday earlier this month, June 20th. This was a great response time. It arrived a little less than a month after I sent my letter.

You will notice that the letter and envelope are dated June 24th, a few days after her birthday, meaning her office is right on top of things. Which is always great.

Two interesting things about the envelope: 

The 1st interesting thing is the envelope had the wrong address. Most of my address is correct, except for the name of the State. My guess is they read the name of the city and thought Massachusetts. Massachusetts has a city with the same name as mine, which it is much more famous
(and definitely more recognisable for a Brit, since it was named after a city in England). 

The US Postal Service had no problem getting the letter to me, and there wasn't even a delay since the other info was all correct and doesn't exist in Massachusetts (Street name, postcode, etc). This, however, is a good lesson: make sure to write your address very clearly. 

The 2nd interesting thing is the stamp "Office of HRH Duke of Gloucester" on the front. The front is stamped, to make up for the lack of monogram on the back of the envelope. The reason the Gloucesters don't have a monogram on the back is because they get their envelopes from a different company. 

The Gloucesters use Conqueror stationary, which is popular among a number of foreign royals (Monaco, Norway). Most of the other British royals use Wren Press, which holds a Royal Warrant from both the Queen and Prince Charles. The Gloucesters using different stationary doesn't mean anything significant, it is just their personal taste in paper. 

I personally like Conqueror better. But that is probably because Monaco uses it and they send the nicest replies (In My Opinion).

The letter was written by the Duchess's Lady-in-Waiting, Mrs. Lucinda Baker.  Pardon the smudged name that was all me! 

This is a form letter. You can tell since it is generic, and could be used for anybody who wrote for the Duchess's birthday. No part is specific to me.

Last year's Birthday response was a bit more personal and written for me. You can tell since it mentions specifically what I wrote about in my letter, and has my name printed at the bottom.

A little difference I noticed in this letter compared to last year's is three little letter on the top left of the page, LVO. Mrs. Lucinda Baker was made a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order for the Queen's 2016 New Years Honors.

Something I always look out for is the fold in the paper. You will notice the text isn't perfectly formatted so the fold falls between the paragraphs. Formatting the letter just right so, so it doesn't fold over any text is hard to do. When you do see it, you can tell that person took great care. This is also why the body of the letter is usually in the middle of the page.

NOTE: The Royal Summer holidays are fast approaching. This means little engagements, few pictures, and Royal Watcher Madness! Because there is little Royal going on in Late July and all of August, the Royal's staff often uses this time to take a well deserved holiday. That can mean responses to letters take a little longer than normal. Last year I got replies 4 months after I wrote. So be prepared.

Also Check Out: 
Other Replies
Other Replies from British Royals

Friday 24 June 2016

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands - Birthday Reply (2016)

I'm finally back from holiday, a little tan, and happy to find this waiting for me.

I had written to Queen Máxima of the Netherlands for her 45th Birthday in May.

The envelope looks exactly like every piece of mail I have received 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. I really like the simplicity of Máxima's monogram.

The thank you card is formatted exactly like her Husband's birthday reply from earlier this year.

The reply was sent just under a month after her birthday, Which is a great response time.

Also Check Out:
Other Replies
Replies from the Netherlands

Monday 13 June 2016

Royal Ascot - Main Page

Ascot Racecourse:
Ascot is a racecourse located in Ascot, Berkshire, England. It is 15 minutes from Windsor Castle. The Racecourse was opened by Queen Anne in 1711. Queen Elizabeth II reopened the racecourse in 2006 after renovations to the grandstand.

Royal Ascot:
Royal Ascot is a week of races at Ascot Racecourse. Royal Ascot is always the Tuesday-Saturday after the Order of Garter Service. Each day of Royal Ascot is attended by a handful of members of the Royal Family and extended family. The Queen used to attend all 5 days. 

Each day begins with a carriage procession, at 2:00 PM, with select members of the Royal Family and special guests. The Royals & Guests in the carriage are usually those attending the Queen’s pre-ascot lunch. 
Trophy Presentations:
Under the each years Royals Attending Page is the 
Dress Code: 
Royal Ascot has a strict dress code for men and women, that vary depending on the enclosure. All the Royals will be in Royal Enclosure. Details on Dress Code can be found here:

Back to British Royal Annual Events - Main Page

Royal Ascot Carriage Procession - 2016

The Queen rides in the carriage procession each day, with other members of the Royal Family and special guests.  There are usually 4 carriages, each with 4 people. The Queen always rides in the 1st carriage. The Carriage Procession begins at 2:00 PM. (Not every royal in attendance rides in the carriage procession.)

Who will be in the Royal Ascot Carriage Procession is not usually announced in advance. 
For Foreign Royals, Royal Family is in (Green).

Day 1 - Tuesday 14th
  • Carriage 1 
    • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
    • Prince Andrew
    • Prince Harry
  • Carriage 2
    • Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla
    • Princess Beatrice
    • Charles Fellowes
  • Carriage 3
    • Princess Anne 
    • Duke & Duchess of Gloucester
    • Lord Vestey
      • Royal Household's Master of the Horse
  • Carriage 4
    • Duke & Duchess of Argyll
    • Viscount & Viscountess Petersham
Day 2 -Wednesday 15th
  • Carriage 1 
    • Queen Elizabeth  & Prince Philip
    • Duke of Argyll
    • Mr. William Farish
      • Former US Ambassador to UK
  • Carriage 2
    • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla
    • Lord Vestey & Lady Vestey
      • Lord Vestey is the Royal Household's Master of the Horse
  • Carriage 3
    • Prince Edward and Countess Sophie
    • Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary (Denmark)
  • Carriage 4
    • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
    • Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth Beaumont
Day 3 - Thursday 16th 
  • Carriage 1 
    • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
    • Prince Andrew
    • Mr John Warren
      • Queen's racing manager
  • Carriage 2
    • Princess Anne
    • Sir Christopher Geidt
      • Private Secretary to Queen Elizabeth
    • Prince El Hassan bin Talal & Princess Sarvath El Hassan (Jordan)
  • Carriage 3
    • Princess Alexandra
    • Princess Eugenie 
    • Duke & Duchess of Fife
  • Carriage 4
    • Earl & Countess of Hopetoun
    • Mr & Mrs Simon Brooks-Ward
    Day 4 - Friday 17th 
    • Carriage 1 
      • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
      • Duke of Fife
      • Viscount Linley 
    • Carriage 2
      • Prince & Princess Michael of Kent
      • Prince El Hassan bin Talal & Princess Sarvath El Hassan (Jordan)
    • Carriage 3
      • Earl & Countess of Hopetoun 
      • Mr John Warren & Lady Carolyn Warren 
        • Mr. John Warren Queen's racing manager
    • Carriage 4
      • Lieutenant Colonel & Mrs Francis Lukas 
      • Mr & Mrs Stuart Janney
    Day 5 - Saturday 18th 
    • Carriage 1 
      • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
      • Major General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne 
      • Mr Anthony Oppenheimer
    • Carriage 2
      • Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla
      • Mr & Mrs Roger Weatherby 
    • Carriage 3
      • Mr John Warren 
      • Lady Smyth-Osbourne 
      • Mr & Mrs Andrew Merriam 
    • Carriage 4
      • Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt 
      • Mrs Anthony Oppenheimer
      • Mr & Mrs Ben Pauling

    For More on Royal Ascot

    Royals Attending Ascot - 2016

    Attendance is not usually announced in advance. The Queen attends everyday, with other members of the Royal Family.

    Trophies presented are in (Bold). For Foreign Royals, Royals Family is in (Green).

    Day 1 - Tuesday 14th
    • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
    • Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla
      • Prince Harry (St James Palace Stakes)
    • Prince Andrew
      • Princess Beatrice
    • Princess Anne (Kings Stand Stakes)
      • Zara Philips & Mike Tindall
    • Prince Edward & Countess Sophie
    • Duke & Duchess of Gloucester
    • Princess Haya & Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum  (Jordan & Dubai, U.A.E.)
    Day 2 -Wednesday 15th
    • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
    • Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla (Prince of Wales's Stakes)
      • Prince William & Duchess Kate (Duke of Cambridge's Stakes)
    • Prince Edward & Countess Sophie
    • Princess Anne
    • Lady Gabriella "Ella" Windsor 
    • Crown Prince Frederik & Crown Princess Mary (Denmark) 
    • Princess Haya & Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum  (Jordan)
    Day 3 - Thursday 16th (Ladies Day)
    • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip (Gold Cup)
    • Prince Andrew
      • Princess Eugenie (Tercentenary Stakes)
      • Princess Beatrice 
    • Countess Sophie (?)
    • Princess Anne
    • Prince & Princess Michael of Kent
      • Lord Frederick Windsor
    • Princess Alexandra
    • Prince El Hassan bin Talal & Princess Sarvath El Hassan (Jordan)
    • Princess Haya & Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum  (Jordan & Dubai, U.A.E.)
    • Prince Nikolaos (Greece)
    Day 4 - Friday 17th 
    • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
    • Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla
    • Prince Andrew (Coronation Stakes)
      • Duchess Sarah
      • Princess Beatrice
    • Viscount Linley 
    • Prince & Princess Michael of Kent
    • Prince El Hassan bin Talal & Princess Sarvath El Hassan (Jordan)
    • Princess Haya & Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum  (Jordan & Dubai, U.A.E.)
    Day 5 - Saturday 18th 
    • Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip (Diamond Jubilee Stakes,  Leading Trainers Trophy)
    • Prince Charles & Duchess Camilla
    • Princess Beatrice (Hardwick Stakes)
      • With boyfriend Dave Clark
    • Princess Eugenie

    Friday 3 June 2016

    3 Replies - Luxembourg, Norway and Netherlands (2016)

    So I've been a little busy lately..... I never got around to posting these 3 replies.... So here is a quick post.

    First is from Luxembourg, from the Grand Duke and Grand Duchess, who celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary in February. Their civil wedding was on 4th February 1981 and their religious ceremony was on Valentine's Day 1981.

    The Envelope is postmarked February 25th, so it took them a few weeks to reply to my letter.

    This is only the 2nd time I had ever written to Luxembourg. The reply is similar to the reply I got from Grand Duke Jean for his 90th Birthday in January.

    The 2nd piece of mail is from King Harald of Norway. It is a half sheet letter and looks exactly like the other letter I had received from Norway.

    It's nice, but it doesn't mention why I wrote. Which was confusing because I had sent three letters over a few months, Christmas, Silver Jubilee (January), and his 79th Birthday (February) and hadn't received any replies.

    I was able to figure out that this was in reply to my birthday letter since I had moved in Late January, so only the birthday reply would have my new address.

    Queen Sonja's Birthday Reply last year did mention that I had written for her birthday.

    The words "friendly letter" made me smile. Usually, they just write "your letter" or thank you for your "kind wishes."

    The letter is hand signed by Åse-Marie Berg, who is one of the Palace's Royal Secretariats.  Royal Secretariat is a department in the Royal Household. They organize engagements, responding to invitations, answering correspondences, etc. Should not be confused with a Private Secretary.

    The envelope is postmarked 16 April, just under two months after his birthday.

    The third reply is from King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. He turned 49 on 27th April. It's a pretty basic reply.

    The envelope is postmarked May 17th. So the reply was sent just under a month after his birthday.

    Each reply I've gotten from the Netherlands so far has been different.

    Also Check Out:

    Wednesday 1 June 2016

    June Q&A (2016)

    As Always, Post your Royal Questions & I will get to them as soon as possible. 

    FYI: We are now on Facebook and and Instagram, be sure to follow us!

    Did you know if you go to the "Calendar" Tab and click on past months you can look at Past Q&As!
    You can check out Last June's Q&A here

    Question 1: In June the Duchess of Gloucester celebrates her birthday and I would like to send her a letter. When is the perfect time to send it? Are you going to send a letter to Duke of Edinburgh or the Duchess of Gloucester? 

    Answer: I'm going to write for both the Duke of Edinburgh & Duchess of Gloucester's birthday. I will also write for Prince William's birthday as well.

    The perfect time to send a letters depends on the occasion. You don't have to write in the window I mention below, but I recommend it. If you write too early or too late, it will effect response time and the type of response.

    Writing ahead of the event:
    If this is the type of event where you write ahead (Birthdays, Christmas, etc.) You want to send your letter early enough that it hopefully arrives on or before the events.

    This means any time during the month, or if the event is at the beginning of the month, 2 weeks ahead of time. For things like Christmas, where it is more of a season than an actual day, you want it to send it early in the season.

    At the latest, try to get it out by the actual day of the event.

    Writing after the event:
    If this is the type of event where you write after (Births, Deaths, Weddings, etc.) they understand it is going to take you time to write and process the event. They are also going to be busy and might not have a chance to look at and reply to the letters for a while.

    So don't feel like you have to write as soon as the announcement is made. Feel free to wait a few days till after the baby's name is announced or the funeral, etc. But I would try to get your letter mailed out within 2-3 weeks.

    What if my timing is way of?
    If want to write to someone and it's way past whatever event, or way before. Don't fret, you don't need a specific occasion to write. Write a more general letter and put in a small mention about the event.

    Question 2: Will you watch Trooping the Colour online? 

    Answer: Yes, if I can. BBC has a live stream of Trooping the Colours every year, but I believe that it is only available in the UK. Hopefully this year since it is her 90th Birthday we will see some international live streams. But either way, there is always a lot of live coverage on social media.

    Question 3: Which royals are your favorite? P.s. I hope Prince Harry is one of them ;)  

    Answer: They are all my Favorite! and of course Prince Harry is one of them!!!

    But if you want me to get more specific:

    Favorite Royal Couples:
    1. Crown Prince Frederik & Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
    2. Prince William & Duchess Catherine
    3. Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
    4. Prince Albert & Princess Charlene of Monaco
    Favorite Royal Families:
    1. British
    2. Swedish
    3. Monaco
    4. Denmark
    Favorite Royal Transformation:
    1. Crown Prince Jacque & Princess Gabriella of Monaco
    2. Princess Sofia
    3. Countess of Wessex
    Favorite Royal Love Story:
    1. King Harald & Queen Sonja of Norway
    2. Queen Elizabeth & Prince Philip
    3. Crown Prince Frederik & Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
    Favorite Royal Causes:
    1. Literacy/Education
    2. Children's Issues
    3. Women's Rights
    4. Hospitals/Hospices
    5. UN 2030 Agenda
    6. UNICEF
    7. Other UN
    8. Prisions/Rehabilitation
    9. Armed Forces
    10. Arts
    Favorite Royal Events:
    1. Christmas/New Years
    2. Royal Weddings
    3. Royal Christenings
    4. State Opening of Parliament
    5. Nobel Prize Banquet
    Favorite Royal Olympic Team:
    1. Monaco
    2. Great Britain
    3. Liechtenstein
    Favorite Replies:
    1. Monaco
    2. Duchess Camilla
    3. Queen Elizabeth
    4. Cambridges
    5. Belgium
    Question 4: What Military Ties does Prince Harry have that he wears?

    Answer: Besides the standard black tie and khaki tie which are worn by all the different regiments. We have only seen Prince Harry wearing 1 Regimental tie, The Household Division tie. When Prince Harry was in the military, he was apart of the Household Calvary, which is one of the parts that makes up the Household Division. But I do expect we will see Harry wear different regimental ties in the future.

    We have a list of regimental ties, and the Royals who wear them, here.

    Question 5: Could you do a post on past royal letters/postcards sent from the British royal family. I've always wondered what was sent for previous special events and milestones?

    Answer: The first letter I wrote to the Royals was Prince George's 1st Birthday, so I haven't been writing too long. You can find most of my replies here.

    They include milestones like Princess Charlotte's Birth, Charlotte's Christenings, Cambridge's 5th Wedding anniversary, Harry leaving the military, Charles and Camilla's 10th Wedding anniversary, etc.

    And then for the Foreign Royals I have more milestones like weddings, births, anniversaries, deaths, etc.