De­light at let­ter from the Queen

Hastings Leader - - News -

Hast­ings res­i­dent El­iz­a­beth Beall is still on cloud nine af­ter a spon­ta­neous let­ter she penned to Queen El­iz­a­beth re­ceived a re­sponse from Bal­moral Cas­tle.

The for­mer Hast­ings District Li­braries chil­dren’s li­brar­ian wrote to the Queen af­ter tak­ing part in the re­cent Turn up the Heat adults’ win­ter read­ing chal­lenge run by Hast­ings District Li­braries.

The chal­lenge set tasks for par­tic­i­pants rang­ing from try­ing a book in a dif­fer­ent for­mat (graphic, eBook, au­dio book), to ex­plor­ing a book of po­etry, lis­ten­ing to a lit­er­ary pod­cast or read­ing a book about some­one they would swap their life with.

El­iz­a­beth took up most of the 12 chal­lenges but it was read­ing a book about some­one she would swap her life with that prompted her to write a let­ter to Her Majesty.

“I wanted to tell her what a good job she had done, and how much I ad­mired her,” El­iz­a­beth says.

In her hand­writ­ten let­ter she told the Queen about the read­ing chal­lenge, and ex­plained why she chose her as the sub­ject for a life swap.

“The rea­son I picked you is not the cas­tles and places you live in, but that you have done your duty so well over the years and have had a long and lov­ing re­la­tion­ship with your hus­band Prince Philip.

“You and your hus­band are very well loved. I just wanted you to know how much I ad­mire you and think you have done a won­der­ful job over the years. It must be very hard to be nice to ev­ery­one and keep your own views pri­vate.

“I am happy with my life but if I had to choose, yours would be the life I choose be­cause you are loved very much,” she wrote.

A cou­ple of weeks ago, she re­ceived a re­sponse from El­iz­a­beth Leem­ing, the Queen’s Lady in Wait­ing, who thanked El­iz­a­beth for her let­ter about the read­ing chal­lenge.

“The Queen has been deeply moved by the af­fec­tion­ate loy­alty she has re­ceived through­out her long reign and Her Majesty is most grate­ful for your warm sen­ti­ments of ap­pre­ci­a­tion for her­self and The Duke of Ed­in­burgh. I am to thank you very much, for your kind words and thought­ful­ness in writ­ing as you did,” the re­sponse said. El­iz­a­beth says re­ceiv­ing the let­ter made her week.

“I thought that I would maybe get a re­sponse, but a lot of peo­ple these days don’t re­ply when you write to them, so it was very nice in this day and age to get a re­ply.”

The avid reader, who worked at Hast­ings District Li­braries for 35 years, praised the read­ing chal­lenge, which in­tro­duced her to books she had never read.

El­iz­a­beth Beall was rapt to get a re­sponse to the let­ter she sent to Queen El­iz­a­beth.

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