Image via WikipediaIt was my parents' 60th wedding anniversary yesterday - the reason we went on leave unseasonably early was to attend. We had contacted the relevant types to arrange a message from the Queen, which you qualify for with a diamond wedding or by passing 100 years of age.
The process is remarkably analogue - there are no online forms or stuff, you give your details over the phone and then they arrange a search of the Register of Births, Weddings and Deaths, forward the data to the Palace, who send you a note confirming that yes, you do qualify for a message and also confirming the details.
Saturday morning the postman came with an extra duty - he has to announce that he has a message from the Palace (and, incidentally, the relevant Post Office has to confirm it will make delivery prior 9.30am on the day in question or an Inquiry would be mounted by the Palace. I kid you not.). Inside the blue covering envelope is a beige one with a crest printed across it. And inside that is a card with a photo of HM, together with a congratulatory message signed by Elizabeth R. And some gold tassels. The gold tassels are an important element. The back of the envelope, rather cutely, says 'If Undelivered, Return to Buckingham Palace'.
My mum was over the moon, dancing about all over the place and just generally as delighted as someone who has found a million pounds worth of Roman coins in their garden. Brenda was popped onto the centre of the fireplace - from where I have to tell you her eyes follow you around the room - and the story of the whole thing was generally dined out on over the subsequent festivities.
It's nice that something daft like that can make people so very happy. Nice one, Buck Palace!