Everyone knows the Queen sends letters when you turn 100, but have you ever thought about the people who send her letters? Andrew Simes’ grandfather sent Queen Elizabeth II a card every year during the holiday season from 1952 to 2011, the year of his death.
Andrew decided to take on the tradition, and has revealed the amazing response from the royal highness herself.
Simes posted on Facebook about the exchange, describing his grandfather’s tradition and the Queen’s response:
Ever since Grandpa could remember, he made sure to send a Christmas card to his king/queen. So naturally, since 1952, Elizabeth II kept receiving his mail. As chance would have it, their paths crossed at a reception in Izmir, Turkey in 1972. When it was his turn to be introduced to the Queen, instead of a formal handshake, she paused, smiled, and quipped: “so its you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmas cards.” Of all her subjects, Grandpa stood out (perhaps because he mailed his letters from Turkey), but what a memory and level of kindness on the Queen’s part. She even wrote him to congratulate him on his 100th birthday. Sadly, Grandpa passed away in the summer of 2011 at the age of 102. As a loyal grandson, admirer and student of his, I took it upon myself to continue writing our Queen every year to show our appreciation. And I started that very first Christmas after Grandpa’s passing. In January 2012, about a month after Christmas, I received a letter. The envelope suggested that it was sent from Buckingham Palace. In it was written: “When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather’s whereabouts. Therefore it is with much sadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you and your family.” I couldn’t fight back the tears then, nor can I fight them back every time I remember this story of two people who left a lifelong impression on each other. And today, just as every year, I sent my Christmas cards… but top of the list was reserved for Her Majesty. Wishing you all a Christmas as magical as this story.
It just goes to show how important sending Christmas cards is and that they are always appreciated.