My first royal letter came today (so soon!) and it is from Her Majesty the Queen of England herself! Click here if you do not know what I am talking about. I was super excited, but patiently waited to get inside to open her letter perfectly. I must say that at first I had hoped she might be writing to let me know about my arranged marriage to her grandson, Prince Harry, but alas, no…maybe someday. I wrote to the Queen and told her British royal history is my favorite (check out historical fiction books by Philippa Gregory – she wrote The Other Boleyn Girl). I also told her I taught about her in my Australia lesson this past year. Annabelle Whitehead, a Lady-in-Waiting for the Queen, was the one to actually write me back. I understand – the Queen has things to do and people to see. Below are photos of my royal letter as well as information on the Queen and her Ladies-in-Waiting.
|The amazing royal envelope. It was so thick and elegant.|
|This was on the back – how royal, right?!|
|I cannot tell you how excited I was when I saw her initials and a letter postmarked from Buckingham Palace!|
|The letter and information sheets for my students – I will be laminating them immediately!|
Information on Queen Elizabeth II
According to the official website of the British Monarchy, Elizabeth Alexandra (quite the royal name, isn’t it?) Mary became the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York in 1926. Her childhood was actually pretty quiet until 1936 when her grandfather died and her uncle gave up the throne to marry American divorcee, Wallis Simpson. This left Elizabeth’s father to be King. Her parents became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. World War II soon followed. This period is probably what her family is most famous for. King George VI continued to live in London during the bombings when he could have easily moved elsewhere to safety. People really admired him for this.
In 1947, Elizabeth became engaged to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten. Her wedding wasn’t as grand as Princess Diana’s or Duchess Kate’s because World War II had just ended – she even used coupons to buy her dress! They ended up having four children (the first being Prince Charles born a year after the wedding). They are still married today after 64 years! If this doesn’t have Disney story written all over, then I don’t know what does! I LOVE a good happily ever after, don’t you?
Elizabeth went from Princess to Queen in 1952 after the death of her father. Her coronation wasn’t until 1953 though. Crowds lined the streets (like they did for the Royal Wedding this past spring) and it was also the first time a coronation aired on television.
The Queen currently attends many receptions, ceremonies, and visits around the United Kingdom and abroad. She also reads letters from the public and meets with key political figures. One of my favorite things I learned about the Queen is that she actually celebrates two birthdays…a lady from my own heart. Her real birthday is on April 21, but her official birthday is on a Saturday in June. Lucky gal! Supposedly, all royals get two birthdays especially if they were not born in the summer. Their real birthday is spent privately, but their fake birthday is spent celebrating publicly and having people fawn over them. Ahh…I could get used to royal life!
|Queen Elizabeth II with her husband, children and grandchildren|
Information on Ladies-In-Waiting
According to Jennifer Smart’s blog, Ladies-in-Waiting collect flowers and gifts from the public, write letters, and shop for the Queen. They are also personally selected by the Queen herself. They are not paid, but they work two weeks on, two weeks off. If I read correctly, Annabel Whitehead (the woman who wrote to me) was actually a Lady-in-Waiting for Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister. Sadly, Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother both died in 2002. I guess Annabel Whitehead now works for the Queen. Cool fact – it is tradition after the death of a royal to give honors to some members of their staff for the work they did for the royal family. Annabel Whitehead was one of four people to receive this honor in 2002 for working for Princess Margaret.
Now I must go and figure out how to get this job for Duchess Katherine! That is all for my first royal letter update! I cannot wait to blog about future letters! Check back soon. I hope you are enjoying this as much as me!