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Queen Elizabeth II may be the longest-reigning monarch in history but that’s not why people think of her so fondly. She’s a class act, a hard worker, never too busy to attend events and functions like a sprightly gal decades younger than her actual age, sure. But the reason people adore her? She brings the personal touch like no one else can.

Since 1952, Andrew Simes’ grandfather would send a Christmas card to Her Majesty — every year, without fail. Now, the Queen obviously gets thousands of cards each year but somehow Simes’ granddad’s stood out. So much so, that upon a chance meeting with Simes in Turkey the Queen remarked, “so its you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmas cards.” Which is sweet enough and we could end our story right there. But wait…

When Simes the senior passed away in 2011, his grandson took it upon himself to continue the tradition and kept the card-writing alive. A month after Andrew’s first card was sent off to Buckingham Palace, in 2012, he received a very surprising correspondence — from the monarch herself.

“When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather’s whereabouts. Therefore it is with much sadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you and your family.”

Simes shared his “magical” story on Facebook, writing that he “couldn’t fight back the tears” about “two people who left a lifelong impression on each other.” Andrew added that the Queen’s Christmas card was on the top of this year’s pile and, GAH! Can someone please pass a tissue? Uh, no, we’re not crying. It’s just raining on our face.

Ever since Grandpa could remember, he made sure to send a Christmas card to his king/queen. So naturally, since 1952,…

Posted by Andrew Simes on Wednesday, 9 December 2015