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British RoyalsQueen Elizabeth II

The Queen Acknowledges Christmas Tradition

It was revealed last week that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, had responded to the grandson of a man who had sent her a Christmas card every year for sixty years. In a public Facebook post, Simes told the unlikely yet heartwarming story.

His grandfather had always sent Christmas cards to the monarch, ever since he could remember. He first sent a Christmas card to Her Majesty in 1952, and it became a tradition that lasted for sixty years. Simes posts that his grandfather might have stood out amidst the thousands of other holiday cards due to the Turkish return address.

The Queen returned the favour, on the occasion of his grandfather’s 100th birthday in 2009, and sent a card.

In fact, the two had even met at a reception in Izmir, Turkey in 1972. In lieu of a traditional handshake greeting, once Her Majesty learned her next guest’s name, she paused, and then quipped, “So it’s you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmas cards.”

After his grandfather passed away in 2011, Simes continued the tradition in his stead, and sent Her Majesty yet another Christmas card. A month later, he received a letter back from Buckingham Palace.

“When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather’s whereabouts,” read the letter from Queen Elizabeth.

“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,” wrote Simes.

He revealed that Her Majesty has now become the top name on his Christmas card list because of this heartwarming yuletide tradition.

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About author

Jess Ilse is the Assistant Editor at Royal Central. She specialises in the British, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Royal Families and has been following royalty since Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee. Jess has provided commentary for media outlets in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Jess works in communications and her debut novel THE MAJESTIC SISTERS will publish in Fall 2024.