In the UK, many people have a personal memory of the Queen. Not so for the Aussie-German Turner family until they move to Glasgow and eight-year-old Matilda writes the Queen a letter.
During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II sent countless letters. Eight-year-old Matilda May Turner from Glasgow received what will probably be her last. Born in Hamburg, the girl moved from Australia, her father's homeland, to Glasgow, Scotland, just last year.
In June, Matilda decided to write some letters. She had already written to her friend and the two grandmothers when she had the idea of surprising the Queen with a letter. "I just congratulated her on the 70th anniversary of the throne and said I hope she feels good," Matilda told ntv.de on the phone. "Because we had just moved to Scotland from Australia, she also wrote that we had just come to Scotland," adds her mother Lisa.
It's nice in Glasgow but a bit cold and rainy, Matilda told the Queen of where her father has a new job, just under a three-hour drive from the royal estate of Balmoral. In Australia it had also been very hot before, "over 40 degrees". Matilda's mother looked on the Internet where to write to the Queen, and so the girl's letter went on its way to London.
No one in the Turner family was too hopeful for an answer, after all, a queen must have a lot to do. When news of the Queen's death spread around the world last Thursday, a letter or card from the Queen just seemed impossible. "When she died, I thought, now I'll never get an answer," says Matilda.
But two days after the death of the Queen, the unbelievable happens: the postman throws a letter from Buckingham Palace through the letter slot. "The letter sailed straight into the apartment," reports Matilda, still very excited. On a specially printed card, Elizabeth II thanked Matilda for "a kind message on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of my accession to the throne".
Since then, there has been hardly any other topic for the eight-year-old. She read the Post to her five-year-old brother, Oscar, of course, her two best friends, and her entire class. On Wednesday she takes the card and envelope to school so that everyone there can see the Queen's letter. "So we now have our personal Queen story," says Lisa Turner, who, as a native German, did not necessarily feel closely connected to the British royals. Matilda wants to keep the letter "forever", including the envelope. After all, she ended up getting mail from the Queen after all.
(This article was first published on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.)