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The Queen responds to 7-year-old’s recital invitation

A seven-year-old musician sent The Queen an invitation to a music recital and has received a response.

Musical prodigy Leia Zhu, from Whickham in Newcastle, sent an invite to Her Majesty to attend her 45-minute recital to watch her play nine different pieces on her violin. Along with the letter, The Queen received a CD and newspaper clippings about the young musician.


Leia said in her invite:

“I asked my mum how to invite you to my recital or whether I can go to the Palace to play for you. My mum said that she couldn’t answer the question for you so I would have to find out myself. If you can come to the recital, that would make me really happy!!!

” […] I do hope you are well and your doggies are being good.”

She decided to invite The Queen because she is beginning her performance with Tempo di Minuetto by Kreisler, a piece of music that she envisions The Queen arriving to.

Leia has been playing her instrument since the age of three, and is to perform at Hexham Abbey Festival on 23rd of September; her European tour debut as a soloist was made with the Classical Concert Chamber Orchestra from Los Angeles, USA.

A response came from a Lady-In-Waiting, Jennifer Gordon-Lennox, just a few days later on behalf of Her Majesty. It politely declined the offer, saying it was ‘most kind’ to invite Her Majesty and the offer was ‘much appreciated’. It then wished Leia a ‘happy and successful day’. The Queen is currently in Balmoral, taking her annual summer holiday in the Highlands.

The musician’s mother, Yanhong Bi, 39, said: “It took her about two hours to get everything down” and that Leia completed the letter in her ‘royal handwriting.’ 

I’m very proud of her. I said it was a lovely idea. I really didn’t expect her to get a response so soon.”

After Leia got a response, “she was holding it and jumping up and down she was so excited” explains Yanhong.


photo: – Public domain from Runner1928 via Wikimedia Commons –…


    I feel Her Majesty *should* attend the recital. It is very obvious the young lady in question took great care in choosing the music she felt should be played, and she took great pains in making sure the invitation was “proper”

    • Glasgow1975

      it would be a lovely idea, but I imagine Her Majesty receives hundreds of such invitations every year, and if they are not tied to an already planned visit or a suitable charity they must all be declined. The Queen’s Diary is planned meticulously, often years in advance, and on top of that Her Duties are being scaled back due to her age, slotting in a child’s recital would be very difficult even if she wished to attend.

      • Chloe Howard

        As Glasgow1975 has said, Her Majesty has a very busy schedule of official events to attend, and to attend one young girl’s recital because she was invited opens a whole can of worms. When The Queen could not attend a particular personal invite, there would be a certain degree of backlash because of this, if she regularly attended other personal (and non-charity related) invites.

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