The Queen has sent a letter to a heartbroken young schoolboy who wrote to invite her to his grandfather's funeral. Owen Maxfield, nine, thought the royal should be informed about the passing of Jack Morris, who had once guarded the Crown Jewels, and sent her a note speaking of his sadness and asking her to attend the service.
To his family's complete surprise, he received a reply. "It was a bit of a shock!" his mum Gaynor Maxfield told the Express. "But it really cheered Owen up.
CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
"The Queen said she was sorry to hear Owen's granddad had died and she was very interested to know he had guarded the Crown Jewels."
Mr Morris was serving in the Welsh Guards when he was put on security duties at the Tower of London in the Sixties. He loved to tell his grandson stories about his time guarding the priceless royal jewels.
"Owen felt it was important the Queen should be told he had passed away," nursery worker Gaynor said. "To be honest we never expected a reply and Owen was just over the moon when he had a letter back from the Queen."
It's by no means the first time that the monarch has reached out to a young letter-writer. Last year, she replied to a young schoolgirl who was upset about the murder of Lee Rigby and had sent a letter asking for a national day of mourning.
Then, in October, it emerged that the Queen and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had replied to three youngsters who had sent them postcards from their summer holiday.
Maia Reid, eight, and her twin brothers, Alex and Finlay, six, wrote to the monarch and her youngest great-grandson Prince George while in Italy with their parents, and were delighted to receive royal replies.
The twins were sent a letter from George's parents Prince William and Duchess Kate, which included a souvenir photo of the young family. "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have asked me to thank you for the lovely postcard you recently sent in which you wrote so enthusiastically about your holiday to Italy," it read.
"I can say on their behalf that they were delighted to hear from you. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were touched that you should take the trouble to write as you did.
"It really was most thoughtful of you and their Royal Highnesses have asked me to send their warmest thanks and best wishes."
Maia's letter, meanwhile, said, "The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your postcard.
"Her Majesty was pleased to learn that you had a wonderful time on your holiday in Italy. The Queen much appreciated your kind thought in writing as you did, and I am to thank you once again."