What is the cost of arranging a message from Her Majesty? Buckingham Palace does not charge a fee to transmit a message of congratulations from the Queen. 11.50 pounds sterling (17 cents US).
A formal note of acknowledgement requires a messenger to be sent to London to collect the letter and return with it. The messenger's fee is 2 pounds 10 shillings (30 cents US). In addition, there is a fixed overhead cost for sending a message this way.
The majority of messages to the Queen are simply notes delivered in person by members of her household. These can range from congratulations on her birthday to informing the Queen that she has been made a dame of the British Empire. Some messages are more extensive than others; for example, a written statement from the Prime Minister would be an important document for her to read.
The price of a note delivered in this way varies depending on who delivers it but is usually within the range of 12-15 pounds (18-20 cents US).
There are also less formal ways of communicating with the Queen. For example, she may wish to keep in touch with someone who had an important role in resolving a diplomatic crisis.
The Queen does not charge a price to send a message of congratulations from Buckingham Palace, however there may be a fee if you apply with the records office. There is no fixed amount for this service, but it usually costs between £150 and £500.
The Queen's private secretary writes to people who have been awarded honorary degrees from universities worldwide. These letters are in response to those awards and are always sent from the Queen's London residence at 10 Downing Street.
She also sends out letters of congratulation when someone is appointed lord or lady high justice, governor of an imperial territory, or chancellor of a university. These letters are usually sent from Buckingham Palace.
The Queen's official biographer writes her annual book about events in the monarch's life. These books are a standard source of information about the Queen's activities.
She also sends out letters to members of the Royal Family on their occasions of special significance. These letters are often accompanied by gifts. For example, she might give Prince Charles a book after his marriage anniversary, or Princess Diana a flower arrangement after each of her children was born.
Finally, she may choose to write to people without informing the government.
You must still pay for postage, just like you would in the UK, but you might take a chance by sending the letter without any postage at all, which would either result in the Queen being charged extra by Royal Mail, which is now privatised, or your letter being returned to you unopened and unread.
The Queen does not receive letters from ordinary people with their opinions about politics or anything else. She can only read those addressed to her, so if you want your letter to be read by the Queen then it should contain something written by an official of an international organization or some other body that is not part of the government system.
All letters that are sent to the Queen must be in writing and require stamps to send them. There are two types of stamps: revenue stamps, which fund the work of the Royal Family; and postal stamps, which fund other posts such as those to foreign countries.
In the United Kingdom, there is a form called an "Addressed Envelope" that must be used when writing to the Queen. This form varies slightly depending on the type of letter being sent. For example, if you are writing to ask the Queen for an audience then you will need to write on the envelope "REQUESTING AN AUDIENCE WITH THE QUEEN". You can also write the word "AUDIENCE" on the envelope if you prefer.
She would frequently direct one of her ladies-in-waiting or private secretaries to send her response on her behalf. According to the Telegraph, the Queen gets up to 300 letters each day, as well as invitations from heads of state and other formal communications from throughout the world.
The Queen has been writing letters since she was 10 years old. Her father, King George VI, wrote only a few words but he loved to write letters. The Queen learned how to write letters at an early age and she continues to write letters today. She says it is important for her to be able to communicate with those who do not have access to electronic messages.
All official letters written by members of the British royal family are signed "Yours sincerely," which is the standard form of letter writing in England. Private letters may include a personal note from the writer. All their letters are published after their death.
The Queen's annual salary is £150,000 ($200,000). Not including other expenses, she spends about £250 million ($350 million) annually. That's more than any other head of state. However, some countries spend much more than that each year (see details below).
She receives many gifts while performing activities such as visiting schools or hospitals. These gifts are given with the hope that the Queen will use her position to bring attention to the cause or organization giving the gift.