It may be a little early to think about Christmas cards right now, but it’s still a nice little tradition that many of us partake in. There’s no better way to spread holiday cheer than to send a card with a family portrait, or maybe even a store-bought card with a few kind words to end the year.  But, you probably haven’t sent cards to celebrities. It turns out, it’s not the worst idea.


Andrew Simes told the story of his grandfather in a Facebook post that has gone viral. He was such a big supporter of the royal family that he sent Queen Elizabeth II an annual Christmas card. And to his surprise, the Queen actually read them and grew fond of Simes’ grandfather’s goodwill.

Hello! Magazine reports that Simes’ grandpa made it a tradition every year to send a card, starting back in 1952. “Ever since Grandpa could remember, he made sure to send a Christmas card to his king/queen,” Simes said.

Surely you’d assume that the Queen has more important things to do than read Christmas cards. But, since these cards arrived promptly and without fail, it makes sense that she’d notice the address year after year. Eventually, the two met.

1. When Simes introduced himself, the Queen knew who he was.

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Simes’ Grandfather lived in Turkey, according to the Independent.

And in 1972, that’s where the two finally became acquainted. Queen Elizabeth II was present at a reception in Turkey, and it’s when she finally met her penpal. According to the Independent, she told him, “So it is you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmas cards.” It must have filled his heart with joy.

2. It’s important to know how long this tradition lasted.

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By that point, the Queen had received his cards for 20 years.

Although Simes’ Facebook post has since been removed, Mashable writes that he mentioned why his grandfather may have stood out. “Of all her subjects, Grandpa stood out (perhaps because he mailed his letters from Turkey), but what a memory and level of kindness on the Queen’s part,” he reportedly wrote.

3. The Queen also wrote to him.

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It may not have been a holiday card, but it was far more special.

Mashable reports that Simes’ grandfather received a lovely card from the Queen when he celebrated his 100th birthday. It’s quite an accomplishment, and the Queen took note. It’s wonderful that the Queen took the time to celebrate such a miraculous milestone, and proves she did care about the odd friendship they shared.

4. Eventually, Simes’ Grandfather passed away.

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He lived up until the ripe old age of 102.

Most would consider that to be a long life, and surely the Queen knew that their correspondence couldn’t last forever. But she ended up finding out about the death in a particularly interesting way — through Christmas card envelope. After almost 60 years of writing, the Queen could obviously pick out his card from the rest of the bunch.

5. That year, she didn’t get a card from Simes’ grandfather.

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Simes wrote that he wanted to keep up the tradition, to help pay respect to his grandfather.

“As a loyal grandson, admirer and student of his, I took it upon myself to continue writing our Queen every year to show our appreciation,” he wrote, according to Mashable. “And I started that very first Christmas after Grandpa’s passing.” The Queen noted the difference in name on the envelope and took it upon herself to reach out.

6. The Queen wrote back to Simes with her respects.

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She took the time to honor Simes’ grandfather.

Mashable reports that the card arrived in January of 2012, about a month after he sent his own card to the Queen. In her response, she wrote that “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.”

7. The acknowledgment meant a lot to Simes.

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It proved that their friendship was legit.

Through holiday card, his grandfather made quite the impression. “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,” Simes reportedly wrote on Facebook while sharing the heartfelt story.

8. Now, the tradition belongs to Simes.

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He sends his own cards, and the Queen is on top of his list.

In a way, this story sums up the true meaning of Christmas. It also sounds like a television movie in the making. But, hopefully, Lifetime or another popular network will hold off. This true story is as pure as they come, and it’s great that it can stand alone by itself.

9. It’ll make you think about the numerous connections you can make in life.

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Surely, Simes’ grandfather didn’t expect the Queen to take notice.

Instead, it was a kind gesture — and one that didn’t break the bank. He wanted to show her how much he appreciated her work, and a card for the holidays made the most sense. They lived quite far away, but still managed to connect based on one heartwarming decision he happened to make decades ago.

10. It’ll also inspire you to start writing again.

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When you were a kid, you may have sent fan letters to your favorite celebrities.

These days, it may be easier to tweet at them. But a handwritten letter still goes a long way. You don’t have to write paragraphs upon paragraphs of why you admire someone. You could just let them know that their work, either in the entertainment business or as a humanitarian, has made your life better.

11. You might not get a response, but it’s not about that.

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Simes’ grandfather wasn’t hoping that the Queen would become best friends with him.

Even if there was never a response or a meeting, it’s still nice to know that your kind and sincere words can make someone’s day. The Queen receives a lot of cards and letters, but each one likely boosts her self-esteem, especially in a world where people are quick to criticize. The royal family is beloved, but they still get their fair share of negativity online.

12. It’s also a reminder to send cards out to your loved ones.

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Even if they’re not known worldwide, they’d still love to hear from you.

The art of the Christmas card is slowly dying since it can often be time-consuming. Make an effort this year to write a little note on a few specific cards to keep in touch with friends and family the old fashioned way. Even if they don’t verbalize it, it’ll mean a lot that you took the time to sit down and write.

13. If you also want to send a card to the Queen, here’s how.

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You may not get a response, but it’s still nice to include her on the list.

Hello Magazine reports that the Queen enjoys reading letters, and can get over 300 per day. That number probably increases around Christmas. You’ll want to address your card to:  Her Majesty the Queen, Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA. If you want to be formal and write something inside the card, you can address it to “Madam.”

14. Supposedly, a lucky few will get a letter back from a Lady-in-waiting.

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A lady-in-waiting serves as a royal servant, and they’ve been known to help the Queen sort through her correspondences.

That means that there were probably a few people who were familiar with Simes and his Christmas cards. Getting a response back from a Lady-in-waiting is still quite an honor, as they’ve been made sure to craft meaningful letters that’ll still make quite an impression. After all, they represent the Queen.

15. Remember, anyone can make a difference.

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Start a tradition that’ll make someone’s day.

It doesn’t even have to be around Christmas. Do something good and thoughtful for someone you appreciate, and help pay it forward. So many people would have given up after a year or two of writing to Queen Elizabeth II and getting no response. Simes did it because it felt right to him, and made quite an impression without realizing it for years.


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