In today’s fast-paced society of social media, email and text, sending a letter through the mail might seem old-fashioned. Why pay for postage for something you’ll have to wait perhaps days, weeks, or months until receiving a response instead of sending a tweet or email into cyberspace? The latter is not only free, but it is also less time-consuming.
But there’s something more personal, more intimate, about actually taking the time to sit down and write a letter you’ll send through the mail. Someone elsewhere will read your words, so it’s important to take the time to make sure you craft your message perfectly. Plus, when you finally do receive a response, it’ll be something to you from the royal you’ve contacted.
The Duchess of Cornwall is one such person who received an intimate letter this week from a young person named Jamie, who is a distant cousin of the Duchess. Having enjoyed the letter so much, Camilla requested that her staff at Clarence House shared Jamie’s letter with the world. Here it is in full.
“Dear cousin Camilla (my grandfather told me to call you that),
“I thought you might like to know that I am the ‘stranger/mystery/unknown person’ as quoted in the recent newspaper coverage of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
“2 weeks before your visit to Cpt Harry Cubitt’s grave in Carnoy Military Cemetery. I also visited Harry’s grave during my school battlefield’s trip, and it was I who laid the cross and photograph of him.
“I found it moving to have been at the graveside of my great great uncle and like you I was deeply saddened standing by his grave thinking how hard it must have been for Harry and is two brothers [and] parents to cope with the death of their children at such a relatively young age.
“My father, Johnathan Cubitt, really enjoyed your visit to Queensgate earlier this year and both he and my brother, Caspar, were thrilled by your visit to St Ronan’s last year.
“Love from Jamie”
Members of the world’s monarchies have been forced to change with the times; many now have social media accounts and websites where journalists and avid royal watchers alike can keep up with the engagements of their favourite royals.
Members of the British royal family, depending on popularity receive thousands of pieces of correspondence each year — birthday & holiday cards, anniversary cards, and general letters from people from the world over. It’s impossible for every letter to receive a personal response from the member of the family who received it.
Every piece of mail is usually responded to, no matter what it is. Whether in the form of a personal letter written by a staff member, a card with an appropriate photo attached, or a response written by a private secretary – or in the case of Her Majesty, a Lady-in-waiting.