Every year with Christmas there is a small list of royals – up to 15 – who receive a Christmas card from me. Because I like them, find them interesting and they send a card back. I wouldn’t send cards to royals I have never heard of, just because they send something. The royal families of the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain and Monaco always send the loveliest cards back, often with a family photo. Only the Dutch send Unicef cards. I am not a huge fan of boring Christmas letters. I have tried sending cards to Spain several times in the past, but never received anything back, so I stopped sending. I heard from others they sometimes receive something back, and sometimes they don’t, so they probably only have a limited amount of cards available.
As usual the Lippe family was the first to reply to my cards, hardly a week after I had sent them. The present head of the family Prince Stephan, his wife Maria and the children always send a nice family photo. Princess Traute, in her 90s now, still replies too, sending a photo with her faithfull dog. I have met both the princely couple and Princess Traute and her late husband, Prince Armin, over the years, and they’re lovely people. I once got the chance even to thank the latter couple personally for sending these cards.
Belgium was rather early this year and arrived before Christmas too. A lovely, pretty relaxed family photo taken in July I think. Sent on 19 December, but the card of the Duke and Duchess of Aosta only arrived on 3 January 2019 from Italy. A nice photo of the ducal couple this time, which seems to be taken on the 75th birthday of the Duke in September 2018. I finally almost finished the biography of his grandmother Princess Hélène (The Wandering Princess) by Edward Hanson.
To my joy on 15 January 2019 the christmas card of the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived with a lovely photo taken on the 70th birthday party of the Prince in November.
Now I have to wait for more cards … some won’t turn up until February, or even later in the year, but I am very patient.