Friday, March 13, 2009


The envelope stamped Royal Mail, with her majesty the Queen's crest alongside, arrived at my office on the gold mine, Guinea, West Africa

My letter from the Queen of England (well, her lady-in-waiting!)
I love receiving letters in the mail. In order to receive letters, you need to write letters. Which is what I do - often. I write letters on my computer, using an interesting font, print them, place them in an envelope, add a postage stamp and post them. Not long and I receive a reply. Viola!

While I lived and worked in Guinea, West Africa, I e-mailed most of my friends and relations. However, I do have a number of friends and family who do NOT have Internet or even a computer. Yes, that’s true. In this day and age, there are people without the means of electronic communication. So I wrote to them via the Postal Services, AKA Snail Mail.

On occasion I wrote to my dear 75-year-old neighbour here in town; she does not have a computer. I wrote regularly to Emily who was caring for my pets and home in my absence. Emily cannot read, so her daughter read the letters to her. I wrote to my two best friends who are married to farmers and although they have computers, they have no access to the Internet. Now that I live back home in South Africa, I still write to these two friends at Christmas time and at Easter. I tell them how much they mean to me, and normally I have photographs of them (we are often together at social events and I always take photos) so I create personal cards on the computer and insert the letters.

I write to a published author friend of mine (she's written more than forty books on an electric typewriter) Last year she changed to a computer, but still does not have Internet. I also write to my husband’s two aunts who, yes, you guessed it, have no Internet!

In June 2005, instead of flying directly home to South Africa, my husband and I flew to the UK. He was off to the Isle of Man TT (annual motorbike races); I visited my sister, Rose. She and I toured through the UK. Later I attended the Trouping of the Colour. Rose had arranged with an old school friend of mine to go with me in her stead. My friend, Norma (now living in the UK) and I had not seen each for thirty years. Through my sister's connections, we had tickets for seats inside the parade ground. No standing in the street for us craning our necks to see my favourite monarch. No, we were so close to the parade ground, that we could almost touch her as she past in the open carriage!

Before I visited Engalnd, I wrote to Queen Elizabeth. Among other things, I told how my mum had been an ardent fan of hers and now I was.

Imagine my delight when I received mail at my office on the gold mine; an envelope with the Queen’s crest on it and stamped “Royal Mail”. My bosses, both Englishmen, stared wide-eyed as I nonchalantly waved the envelope in the air. The letter, typed on beautifully thick cream-coloured paper and headed, Buckingham Palace, was written by Her Majesty’s Lady-in-Waiting. She thanked me on behalf of the Queen for my letter who said she had many fond memories of South Africa.

As you can imagine, I keep this letter in my kist /linen chest with my other memorabilia.


  1. I hope that the art of letter writing doesn't die out in the age of email etc. How wonderful that you have a letter from the Queen/Buckingham Palace, how nice that she took the time to write back to you !

  2. Hi Lynda, glad you're back safe and sound! Yes, I love writing and receiving letters and this one from the Queen is very special. Hugs Jo

  3. Hi Jo I am very impressed with your
    High and Mighty contact. If one makes the effort you never know what
    you get in return.
    Love to you both Yvonne


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