Buckingham Palace is looking for a first-class royal servant to answer sackloads of mail sent to the Queen.
Her Majesty receives around 300 daily letters from her fans and it is little wonder she needs a hand to reply to each one.
The new assistant correspondence officer will help ensure the monarch’s mail receives a prompt and proper response befitting of the royal crest.
As the job advertisement says, many of the posted letters are unique.
From a request to send a cat a birthday card, an appeal to overhaul bus stops to save a hairdo and adorable children’s drawings, readers share their stories of writing to the Queen and getting a reply.
Would you like to come for tea?
Jane Frances’s six-year-old daughter Neve was travelling from Merseyside to London in April 2011 to see a theatre show and thought she’d invite the Queen out for tea.
Jane says: “I didn’t want to crush Neve’s dream by not posting the letter, even though I never thought we’d get a reply in a million years.
“Neve was ecstatic when she received a reply from Buckingham Palace. Her Majesty respectfully declined Neve’s invitation, which is perhaps inevitable since the day we were in London was Prince William’s wedding day!”
I painted a picture of your favourite horse
Shane Hagan felt so much affection for the Queen she felt compelled to send her a painting of her horse Sanction.
The 52-year-old, from York, says she “absolutely loves” the monarch and wanted to give her something back after all she has done for our nation.
She adds: “I took up painting after corrective eye surgery and, because I know the Queen loves horses, I painted one of her favourites and sent it along with a Christmas card.
“I don’t think anyone imagines they’ll receive a letter back from the most famous woman in the world.
“So when I received one, thanking me and encouraging me to continue painting, I was chuffed to bits. Now I’m a full-time artist.”
Can you cover bus shelters? My mum is fussy about her hair
In 1977, nine-year-old Emma Parsons was so annoyed by mum Jeanette’s hairdo being ruined by rain as they stood at a bus stop she decided to do something.
“I thought the Queen could sort this out,” she says. “So once I’d dried out at home, I wrote to Her Majesty to ask for help. I asked if she could put seats and roofs on all the bus stops, but to cover our one first.”
“My dad, Vince, said I’d never get a reply. Two weeks later none of us could believe our eyes when I received a letter from Buckingham Palace.”
The Queen’s lady-in-waiting explained “it is not within the Queen’s control”, but Emma, now 54, says: “Soon afterwards the bus stop, outside Cardiff Castle, was modernised and I have taken full credit for that.”
Civil servant Emma adds: “My parents weren’t sentimental, but that letter was kept and I still have it. My grandchildren are very impressed.”
My daughter charmed the Queen with her story about the young Princess Elizabeth
A teacher was so impressed by Lottie Trewick’s story of the Queen and Princess Margaret playing in the grounds of Buckingham Palace that she sent it to Her Majesty.
And 13-year-old Lottie was thrilled to receive a reply.
Lottie’s mum Karen, from Winchester, Hants, says: “Lottie wrote the story during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012 and there was a lot of excitement about the Royal Family.
“And she was doubly excited to receive a response.
“The letter says: ‘Her Majesty was pleased to see your charming tale about a mighty oak tree which, in your story, became a great fortress for Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret’.
“We framed the letter.”
Will you send my cat a 100th birthday card?
When Rachel Thomas, of Barmouth in North Wales, heard that the Queen sends cards to those celebrating their 100th birthday she was keen to remind her not to forget a special centenarian: her cat.
Rachel, now 44, says: “When I was 10, I realised my 18-year-old cat Sindy was 100 in cat years.
“So I wrote to Her Majesty asking for a card for my cat.
“Her reply said that the Queen can’t send a card to a cat.
“But I was so proud to get a letter from the Queen’s lady-in-waiting
that I went around all the classes in my school to show off the letter I had received.”
I’m worried about koalas
Fearing for the impact on wildlife during last year’s Australian bushfires, six-year-old Esme Robinson wrote to the Queen to express her concern.
Shortly after sending it, the nation was plunged into lockdown and the Queen stayed at Windsor Castle.
Esme, of Herts, lost hope of receiving a reply to her letter sent to Buckingham Palace. A few weeks later she was stunned to receive a special letter franked with the royal stamp.
Mum Suzi says: “It was a great moment of excitement at a time when we all had to stay at home.”
Get well soon
Nine-year-old Summer Wise was off school with Covid in October when she heard the Queen had spent the night in hospital.
She wrote to wish her a speedy recovery.
Her mum Natasha, of North West London, says: “Summer wrote in her neatest writing and decorated the envelope with stickers and drew a picture of Windsor Castle. Summer told Her Majesty she was also ill and asked her lots of questions.
“She was astounded when she received her reply from Windsor Castle containing a leaflet all about the Queen so she could find the answers to her questions.
“We’ll keep the royal reply for ever.”
Here’s a chocolate medal & some bunting
Three-year-old India Grainger sent Her Majesty a chocolate medal and some bunting to celebrate her diamond jubilee in 2012.
Her mum, Hester, from Reading, Berks, says: “India dictated her letter to me and was very specific about what she wanted me to write. She was incredibly excited when we posted it but doubly so to receive a letter back.
“She said she was touched that India had given her a chocolate medal and some flags. And India was over the moon.
“The framed letter hangs in our bathroom.”
You are the best queen in the whole wide world
Keen to bring a smile to the poorly Queen’s face, seven-year-old Chloe Elmer drew her gold and purple crown, her hats and a giant love heart.
And in a letter adorned with more hearts and “I love you”, Chloe, of Basingstoke, Hants, wrote: “Dear your majesty, I hope you are felling (sic) better. You are the best queen in the whol (sic) wide world.”
Mum Elizabeth said: “Chloe really wanted Her Majesty to know she was in her thoughts.
“She even researched the Queen’s favourite colour for the hats.
“A few weeks ago we had a letter from the Queen’s lady-in-waiting, thanking Chloe.
“She was completely shocked and had the biggest smile ever.
“She’s so proud to know Her Majesty took the time from running the country to write.
“Chloe’s letter is a frame on display as a treasure.”
We have a race horse you bred
Knowing the Queen is passionate about horses, Louise Rowe wrote to give Her Majesty an update one she had bought from her in August 2020.
Louise, 56, from Dorking, Surrey, says: “I wanted to let the Queen know Otago, a horse she had bred, was really happy, doing well and making us proud.
“He has won at Epsom twice and I said he had a home for life with us once his career ended.
“I was thrilled to receive a reply – she wished me well with Otago. The Queen’s letter and card will be treasured for ever.”
We are related
Student Cameron Holmes wrote to the Queen two years ago to tell Her Majesty: “We’re related.”
Cameron, 18, from Malton, North Yorks, says: “A relative traced our family tree all the way back to the 1500s and discovered that my 12th great grandfather was King James V of Scotland. I felt I had to let her know.
“Maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised to receive a reply from Buckingham Palace – we are family, after all.”
The letter, which sends Cameron’s family good wishes and includes a genealogical chart of the Kings and Queens of England, is now framed in Cameron’s home.
Barnaby Hocking, seven, from Paignton, Devon, made the Queen a 92nd birthday card while doing art with his dad Dean.
Barnaby’s mum Victoria says: “The day the reply came, with the Buckingham Palace stamp, the postman ran up our drive – he was almost more excited than we were.
“We didn’t expect to hear back. For the letter to be so personal means an awful lot. Barnaby was so proud he took his letter to school.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.