|WRITE YOUR QUEEN
OR A MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY
OR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
OR LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
A Class Project ~ Or to do on your own
Everyone likes to get mail. But its even more exciting when the letter carrier brings an envelope bearing a Royal Coat of Arms to your door, addressed to you personally ! And - no kidding - The Queen and members of The Royal Family, as well as Her Majestys Canadian representatives, The Governor General and The Lieutenant Governors, will answer your letter !
In the case of The Monarch and members of her family, you will probably receive a reply from an Assistant Private Secretary (not a typist, but a member of a Royal Household who helps organize every detail of public appearances, speeches, security and so on) or a Lady-in-Waiting ( a volunteer helper, often a friend of the Royal, who assists with everything from answering mail to holding all those bouquets you see being presented during walkabouts).
The Governor General or Lieutenant Governor might reply personally. More likely, your letter will be acknowledged by a member of their Households.
But - and heres the exciting part - there is a very good chance that your letter will be read by the Royal or Royal representative to whom you have sent it ! Even The Queen frequently reads mail from individuals. So if a letter of reply states The Queen has asked me to say... or The Prince of Wales read your comments with interest, you can be sure that such is the case ! By reading your and many other letters, our Monarchy is better informed about what Canadians think. Isnt it wonderful to feel that these important, busy people do care - and will take time - to read your words ?!
Since thats the case, lets learn about some of the special rules for writing a Royal or Vice-Regal personage. Its rather like eating out at a nice restaurant - your parents fuss about your looking neat, or not shoveling food into your mouth. Well, writing a Royal or Governor is much the same: we want to show our best side. Of course, your teacher or group leader will help you with the general rules for writing a business letter. Were just going to cover a few particular dos and donts. Ready ?
WRITING HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN
When you write The Queen, you are really doing her a favour ! Of course Her Majesty keeps in touch with Canadians in many ways: through reports from her representatives
, in meetings with Canadian public figures both in the UK and Canada, by reading Canadian newspapers and so on. But she cares about what you and I think - because the whole idea of Monarchy is that each individual is important ! So we do our part to help The Queen when we share with her our thoughts, our ideas, the things that make us proud to be Canadians or even the things that sometimes frustrate us or make us ashamed.
Above all - The Queen wants you to be natural
. Her Majesty doesnt want you her youngest subjects to be so concentrating on being correct that you forget to be yourself
. Of course, youll be polite, just as youd be to a visitor in your home, or to anyone you respect.
One way to show respect is to address your envelope correctly ! Heres the right way for The Queen:
Her Majesty The Queen
London, SW1A 1AA
When you open your letter, instead of writing Dear ___, you simply write Your Majesty
In closing, you have two choices: very formal, or less formal (we have a hunch which one youll choose - but sometimes its fun to be a bit formal, as if you were putting on a suit or party dress for a special occasion).
: Madam, I have the honour to remain
Your Majestys humble and obedient servant,
: Yours sincerely,
If youre not using printed letterhead
, PRINT your name underneath your signature. And be sure to place $1.40 postage and an airmail sticker on your envelope !
WRITING OTHER MEMBERS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY
As you may have learned from some of the other contents of your Red Box, members of Canadas Royal Family share a lot of our interests and concerns. Some have gone to school in Canada. Prince Charles has taken a dive beneath the Arctic ice cap ! Princes William and Harry have skied with their Dad at Whistler in British Columbia. The Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Edward, especially, spend a lot of time with Canadian young people through the Duke of Edinburghs Award Programme/Young Canadians Challenge. So, they are happy to hear from you.
Just as we suggested when writing The Queen, be yourself ! Particularly if youre writing one of the young Princes
, youre communicating with someone probably not that much older than you. Its important for them - and all our Royals - to hear what we really think, what we deeply care about. So be honest, and straightforward - and of course, polite, just as youd be to anyone you cared enough to write a letter to !
ADDRESS FOR PRINCE CHARLES, PRINCE WILLIAM or PRINCE HARRY:
[name of Royal Family member - see below]
St. Jamess Palace
London SW1A 1BS, UNITED KINGDOM
FOR PRINCE PHILIP, PRINCE ANDREW, PRINCE EDWARD or PRINCESS ANNE:
[name of Royal Family member - see below]
London SW1A AA1, UNITED KINGDOM
to use are as follows:
For Prince Charles: HRH The Prince of Wales;
for Princes William or Harry: HRH Prince William of Wales
or HRH Prince Henry of Wales;
for Prince Philip: HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh;
for Prince Andrew: HRH The Prince Andrew, Duke of York;
for Prince Edward: HRH The Prince Edward;
for Princess Anne: HRH The Princess Royal.
your letter with Your Royal Highness
, (though when writing Princes William or Harry you might well simply write Dear Prince William, or Dear Prince Harry, -
END your letter with, Yours sincerely, - no need for a more complicated close !
REMEMBER again to PRINT your name beneath your signature - and to use a $1.40 stamp and air mail sticker !
WRITING THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
OR LIEUTENANT GOVERNORS
Since The Queen cant be in Canada all the time (after all, she is the Monarch of 14 other countries !) she is represented by a team of Governors, whom we call the Vice-Regal representatives. (Vice is a Latin word meaning in place of - Regal means to do with a King or Queen.
These men and women do many things in The Queens name, just as perhaps your parents might ask you to make a phone call for them when theyre too busy, or might sign a permission slip to allow the school to get medical help for you on a field trip. The Governor General (for Canada) and the Lieutenant Governors (for each Province) do such important jobs as giving Royal Assent to Bills that have been approved by Parliament or a Legislature, encouraging volunteers in the community or awarding prizes and other honours.
These individuals, just like members of The Royal Family, enjoy hearing from Canadas youngest citizens. After all, growing up nowadays is very different from what they probably experienced as kids ! So sharing with them your hopes and dreams
, your concerns and disappointments, is a valuable way to keep them in touch with the lives of pre-teens and teenagers. All these Vice-Regal representatives do have the opportunity of passing on their views to The Queen, so your letter helps them to keep Her Majesty better informed about Canada, as well.
WRITING THE GOVERNOR GENERAL
Address your letter to His Excellency The Governor General of Canada, Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A1.
Open it by writing Your Excellency,
and close it with Yours sincerely,
Remember to PRINT your name beneath your signature. And heres a bonus, NO POSTAGE is needed ! Simply write OHMS in capital letters where youd normally place a stamp. (Can you figure out what these letters stand for ? - Well send you a free sticker if you send us the correct answer ! )
WRITING A LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
To begin, you simply put His/Her Honour, The Lieutenant Governor of [name of Province]
Your teacher will help you locate the correct address for your province. You open the letter by writing Your Honour,
and close it with Yours sincerely,.
Remember to PRINT your name beneath your signature. Sorry, you DO need to place postage on your envelope. (Can you figure out why this is different than when you write The Governor General ?)