A Sidney resident could not be more thrilled to receive a reply from Buckingham Palace, after writing condolences to Queen Elizabeth II following the death of her husband Prince Philip in April.
Peter Belair received the letter thanking him for his letter on June 24.
“I was so excited,” he said. “I was very happy. I didn’t expect this. I was very happy and touched.”
The note includes a picture of Prince Philip and the following message in cursive font: “I send you my sincere thanks for your kind words of sympathy on the death of my husband.” The last line read in bold, “ELIZABETH R.”
“I don’t know if she wrote that, but she put her name down,” Belair said.
A Sidney resident since 2001 and the SHOAL Centre for almost eight years, Belair started writing letters to the Queen in 2015.
The first one congratulated her on the birth of great granddaughter Princess Charlotte on May 3, 2015, after which he received a thank-you-letter from Charlotte’s lady-in-waiting, along with a photo of the Queen and Prince Philip. Belair sent a second letter on the occasion of the birth of Prince Louis in 2018, but did not receive a reply.
“I was in love with the Queen ever since I was a little boy. But I never let on to my family because I’m from Montreal,” he said, referring to the fact support for the British monarchy among French-Canadians like him has been ambivalent, if not hostile.
Belair, who is autistic, loves the Queen’s interests in horses among other aspects of her personality, and the Queen reminds him of his mother.
“I think she is doing a good job,” he said. “I think she is a good monarch. I think she is great – 95 years old, that is pretty good.”
Belair regularly watches the Queen’s Christmas messages, has several books about her, as well as a bust. Not surprisingly, he is a fan of The Queen, Netflix’s treatment of the British monarchy, which early on portrays the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip.
“I have been watching it ever since it started,” Belair said. “I still think she is wonderful. She is human.”
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