Have you dreamt of sending a note directly to the Queen? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to compliment the Duchess of Cambridge on her latest style? Or even wish Prince Harry or his new wife Meghan a ‘Happy Birthday’?
It’s surprisingly simple to make contact with your favourite royals, but there are some fairly strict rules to follow if you want the best chance of getting a response.
While mobiles phones, emails and texts continue to take over the world, the royals have ensured they stick with tradition and still rely primarily on hand-delivered letters to communicate directly with members of the public. In fact, it’s as simple as posting a letter to Buckingham Palace or Kensington Palace – but there are few things to consider before putting pen to paper:
While many may think letters sent to the palace are simply read by staff members, the royals’ official website states that the Queen is shown almost all of her correspondence on a daily basis by one of her private secretaries. However, it’s important to ensure you clearly point out exactly what your message is referring to.
Are you wishing one of the family members congratulations? Or simply sending a birthday message? Perhaps you want to write a more formal letter of enquiry or even a complaint? According to the Crown Chronicles, while it’s your choice exactly what you write it’s usually best to pick one main topic and stick to three points to give the letter some structure.
The Queen alone receives around 60,000 letters a year, with most from people in the UK. For her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, she received over 120,000 cards, letters and gifts.
According to the royals’ official website, any style of writing is welcomed by the palace. However, the traditional way to address the Queen is by referring to her as “Madam” in the first instance, before closing the note with: “I have the honour to be, Madam, Your Majesty’s humble and obedient servant.”
For any male members of the family, it’s recommended you open with “Sir”, but “Your Royal Highness” can also be used for both men and women.
Meanwhile, when writing to the Queen in the body of the letter, a good rule of practice is to replace the word “you” with “Your Majesty” – for example, “your recent visit” would become “Your Majesty’s recent visit”. For other members of the royal family, “Your Majesty” can be replaced with “Your Royal Highness”.
From there, it’s traditional to point out exactly why you’re writing early on – preferably in the first paragraph – while keeping the overall length to less than a page where possible.
When closing the letter to any royal other than the Queen, there’s no need to add in the formal line – instead signing off with, “Yours faithfully”.
The royal website warns that Her Majesty “does not intervene in any political or personal disputes, and letters asking her to do so will receive a standard reply to this effect”.
Meanwhile, the palace will not accept any unsolicited gifts sent to The Queen for security reasons.
While children’s drawings are usually okay, parents are warned by the Crown Chronicles that they may not get it back once it’s been sent in – so it’s best to ensure it’s one they want to part with.
If you are writing directly to the Queen, wherever you are in the world, you can address your letter to:
Her Majesty The Queen
London, (England), SW1A 1AA.
If you’re directing a letter to the Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of York, The Princess Royal or Princess Alexandra, simply swap the name as they all have their offices at Buckingham Palace – as do Princess Beatrice or Princess Eugenie.
For Prince Charles and Camilla, you can send the letter to:
Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall
For the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, address your envelope here:
Their Royal Hignhesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
And for Prince Harry and Meghan, letters should be sent to:
Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex