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Grandson continues grandfather's legacy of sending Christmas cards to Queen Elizabeth


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14 December 2015
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Just because Elizabeth II is the Queen of England, doesn't mean that she does not have time for Christmascards. For 59 years, Britain’s longest reigning monarch, 89, formed a friendshipwith a man who would send her a card every year to mark the holiday.

“Ever since Grandpa could remember, he made sure to send a Christmascard to his king/queen,” Andrew Simes wrote on his Facebook page. Since 1952, the Queen would receive holiday cards from Andrew's grandfather, and the two finally had the chance to meet in 1972 when his and the Queen’s paths crossed in Izmir,Turkey.

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Photo: JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images

“When it was [grandpa’s] turn tobe introduced to the Queen, instead of a formal handshake, she paused, smiled,and quipped: 'So it's you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmascards," he wrote. “Of all her subjects, Grandpa stood out (perhaps becausehe mailed his letters from Turkey), but what a memory and level of kindness onthe Queen's part.”

The duo’s friendship blossomed, and the monarch even wrote to congratulate her Christmas pen pal on his 100thbirthday. Sadly, when Andrew’s grandfather passed away in 2011 at age 102, hetook it upon himself to continue his grandfather’s Christmas card legacy, writing tothe Queen, “to show our appreciation.”

Following his grandfather’sdeath, Andrew mailed his first card to Buckingham Palace and received asurprising letter from the Queen of England herself not long after. It read: “When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructedmy office to research your grandfather's whereabouts. Therefore it is with muchsadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you andyour family."

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Photo: Andrew Simes

After reading the Queen’sresponse, Andrew said, “I couldn't fight back the tears then, nor can I fightthem back every time I remember this story of two people who left a lifelongimpression on each other.”

Posting a photo of this year’sholiday cards, Andrew wrote, “Today, just as every year, I sent my Christmascards... but top of the list was reserved for Her Majesty. Wishing you all aChristmas as magical as this story.”

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