Nyheter | 2022 september 09

Letter from The Queen

As people around the world pay respects to and mourn Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, a group of students at IES Täby remember fondly when they corresponded with The Queen.


It’s not often you get a letter from a celebrity. Even less often from a queen – or The Queen. Because if you think of a Queen, it’s going to be The Queen, Her Majesty Elizabeth II.

About three years ago, English teacher James Hughes at IES Täby Junior, took the ordinary letter-writing assignment in year five a step further. He decided they were going to write to someone famous, and after some discussion, they chose Queen Elizabeth II.

The children took the assignment very seriously and wrote one letter each describing who they were and why English is important in Sweden. The handwriting had to be neat as well because that is what’s expected in England. When all the letters were ready, Mr. Hughes put them in an envelope together with a photo of the class. On the envelope, he wrote: Her Majesty The Queen, Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA. And off it went.

About a month later, Mr. Hughes got an envelope from Buckingham Palace. He rushed straight to maths class where the children were, to announce the great news.
– Everyone went bananas! Mr. Hughes says. They all got to touch the nicely embossed letter and we made photocopies so that everybody could take a copy home with them.
The Queen greatly appreciated the letters and was interested to learn about their families, hobbies, and school. The original letter is framed and hung on the wall on the second floor of the school, right next to the conference room called “Queen’s Conference”, of course.

The news about The Queen’s passing has made a big impact in the school. Students and staff are reaching out to each other and sharing stories. Many of them are from the Commonwealth and something like this hits harder when you’re far away from home.
– It’s like the heart of England is gone, Mr. Hughes says. Her Majesty gave a sense that the ship had a captain. I think this marks the end of an era, it’s a different England we woke up to today.

Will there be a follow-up on the successful letter? Not as it seems. The second year Mr. Hughes and the new class picked another big celebrity to write to, and that was Sir David Attenborough. He didn’t respond. The third year they just didn’t do it. But how do you top a letter from The Queen anyway? You don’t.