This is a Thursday, June 25, 2015 file photo of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, as they wave from the balcony of the Roemer town hall in Frankfurt, Germany.
If you’re a commoner who wants to get Queen Elizabeth II’s attention, apparently it is possible, but it will take decades of work. In a touching Facebook post pointed out by Mashable, Andrew Simes writes that his grandfather had always made it a point to send a Christmas card to his king or queen. Elizabeth had been getting the cards since 1952, and happened to meet Simes’ grandpa at a reception in Turkey in 1972—whereupon she told him, “so it’s you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmas cards,” Simes says. The queen later sent a note on Simes’ grandpa’s 100th birthday. The older man died at age 102 in 2011, and Simes took over sending the Christmas cards that year—which is where the story gets really poignant.
In January 2012, Simes got a letter from Buckingham Palace. “In it was written: ‘When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather’s whereabouts. Therefore it is with much sadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you and your family,'” Simes writes. “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.” He’s still sending Her Majesty the annual holiday greeting; see an image here.