Elizabeth Responds

By Willa Wick in Arts & Music, Community, People

It’s not every day that someone gets a letter from the Queen.
Marlyn Bramhill of Palmerston had a thought, acted on it, and was rewarded with a memento that will become a treasured family heirloom.
Back in June while watching all the royalty programs during the Queen’s Jubilee, Bramhill was reminded of her mother and how many of that era almost worshiped the regal ones.
In the 1940s and ‘50s Marlyn’s mother would sit by the hour doing needlework or sewing. During the war years she shortened all the trousers for Harding’s Men’s Wear store in Harriston and later for Anderson’s.
The woman was always working at something and left behind a treasure trove of embroidered and cut-work table cloths, napkins, pillowcases, towels, and anything else that could be ‘fancied’.
Marlyn Bramhill had a compound thought, “mother’s embroidery plus royalty”, and phoned her brother Gerald Loos of Harriston to ask if he thought it would be okay to send something of their mother’s handiwork to the Queen.
Like Bramhill, Loos was happy to have exposure to the heirloom linens and agreed that she should go ahead.
From the selection was chosen a set of pillowcases with crocheted edges and layered pink roses. They were packaged in a padded envelope and forwarded to the Queen with an explanatory note.
The letter began simply “Dear Queen Elizabeth”.
Fortunately Bramhill does not have a computer, for if so she may have succumbed to internet advice which states protocol is to address letters to Her Majesty, Her Grace, Royal Highness or some other such formality.
The package was mailed to the only address she knew: Queen Elizabeth, Buckingham Palace, London, England.
In her letter Marlyn explained how her mother came to have so much lovely handiwork and since she had been an admirer of the queen she would be thrilled if she knew a sample of her work was now in the queen’s possession. Bramhill just felt she wanted to share their mother’s work.
Within six weeks she received a plain envelope bearing only the ER crest. Inside however, was a short thank-you note plus a more formal tri-fold used for Jubilee official acknowledgements.
The letter thanked Mrs. Bramhill for sharing the memories of her mother, and for the pillowcases which have given her so much pleasure.


Marlyn Bramhill holding a pillowcase similar to those forwarded to the queen.

Marlyn Bramhill holding a pillowcase similar to those forwarded to the queen.