A tale of three Elizabeths
4 October 2018
Hastings resident Elizabeth Beall is still on cloud nine after a spontaneous letter she penned to Queen Elizabeth received a response from Balmoral Castle.
The former Hastings District Libraries children’s librarian wrote to Her Royal Highness after taking part in the recent “Turn up the Heat” adults’ winter reading challenge run by Hastings District Libraries.
The challenge set tasks for participants ranging from trying a book in a different format (graphic, eBook, audio book), to exploring a book of poetry, listening to a literary podcast or reading a book about someone you’d life swap with.
Ms Beall took up most of the 12 challenges but it was reading a book about someone you’d swap your life with that prompted her to write a letter to Her Majesty.
“I wanted to tell her what a good job she had done, and how much I admired her,” Ms Beall said.
In her handwritten letter she told the Queen about the reading challenge, and explained why she chose her as the subject for a life swap.
“The reason I picked you is not the castles and places you live in, but that you have done your duty so well over the years and have had a long and loving relationship with your husband Prince Philip.
“You and your husband are very well loved. I just wanted you to know how much I admire you and think you have done a wonderful job over the years. It must be very hard to be nice to everyone and keep your own views private.
“I am happy with my life but if I had to choose, yours would be the life I choose because you are loved very much,” Ms Beall wrote.
A couple of weeks ago, she received a response from Elizabeth Leeming (another Elizabeth), the Queen’s Lady in Waiting, who thanked Ms Beall for her letter about the reading challenge.
“The Queen has been deeply moved by the affectionate loyalty she has received throughout her long reign and Her Majesty is most grateful for your warm sentiments of appreciation for herself and The Duke of Edinburgh.
“I am to thank you, very much, for your kind words and thoughtfulness in writing as you did,” the response said.
Ms Beall said that receiving the letter made her week.
“I thought that I would maybe get a response, but a lot of people these days don’t reply when you write to them, so it was very nice in this day and age to get a reply.”
The avid reader, who worked at Hastings District Libraries for 35 years, was also complimentary of the reading challenge, which she said introduced her to books she had never read before.
5 October 2018