Patriotic pre-schoolers near Sleaford have received a thank-you from the Queen after wishing her a happy 90th birthday.
And as chance would have it, the “Royal mail” arrived just ahead of the pre-school re-opening at new premises.
Children at Busy Bees Pre-school, in Leasingham, sent the Queen a card at the time of her birthday in April to congratulate her on turning 90 this year.
For the group of 10 youngsters, aged between two and four, it was a chance to practise writing their names and – in line with Government guidelines – learn about British values.
Owner of Busy Bees Claire Burgess said: “We promote British values in our setting through encouraging caring attitudes and by working together through play. We enjoy sharing family and national celebrations with our children, and writing a birthday card to the Queen was an extension of this learning about the world around them.”
The activity took an unexpected turn, however, when the Queen replied to the card, thanking the children for their birthday wishes.
Inside the envelope, which is addressed to “The Children of Busy Bees Pre-school’, is a card from “Elizabeth R”.
The card reads: “I send you my grateful thanks for the kind words you have sent to me on the occasion of my ninetieth birthday.”
This is accompanied by a letter signed by Susan Hussey – Baroness Hussey, the Queen’s Lady-in-Waiting, who writes: “The Queen wishes to write and thank you for the message you have sent on the occasion of Her Majesty’s ninetieth birthday.
“The Queen sends her best wishes to everyone at Busy Bees Pre-school and I am to thank you, once again, for writing to Her Majesty as you did at this time.”
Former Busy Bee Arabella Handford, aged four, said: “I can’t believe the Queen replied to us.”
The message from Buckingham Palace has come shortly before the pre-school moves into new surroundings. Previously it met at the sports pavilion on Leasingham Playing Fields, but this has been replaced by the parish council with a new community building, which from September will act as the pre-school’s home. The Royal envelope was waiting for Claire when she visited the new site.
“It was the first day we had been able to get in the building. The contractor had received the letter. It had been put in the kitchen for us to find,” she said.
“It was amazing,” she said on receiving the letter. “The best start we could have had.”
For more on the pre-school, visit www.busybeesleasingham.co.uk