An elderly couple were among the final people to ever receive signed correspondence from the Queen after opening a card from her on the day she died.
Tricia Pont, 81, and her husband Ray, opened the card on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary Thursday.
The couple, from Godalming in Surrey, first heard of the Queen’s illness while enjoying a celebratory lunch and later returned home to learn of her death.
The seniors said it was a day of “mixed emotions” and they would now cherish the
“precious and poignant” card from Her Majesty.
The hand-signed card read: “I am so pleased to know you are celebrating your Diamond Wedding Anniversary. I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion.”
Ray, a retired surveyor, said, “It was our wedding anniversary having spent 60 years together and someone in the family decided they would like us to get a card from the Queen.
“I was so excited to open the card. I thought it would be such a lovely moment for our family… and it had a nice picture on the front.”
“We then went out to have lunch together and when we were there my phone pinged, we were told we should look online as something was wrong with the Queen.
“It makes the card even more precious and poignant as we were one of the last people to get correspondence from her.”
The couple said they were tearful when they returned home and looked at the card.
It features a photograph of the Queen smiling which was taken on the Buckingham Palace balcony at her Diamond Jubilee in June.
“We are big supporters of her, she is a great role model for the whole nation and she was admired for her stoicism,” added Ray. “She was really committed.”
They agreed that the sudden death “really put a downer on the day”, but then they realized how privileged they were to be one of the last few people to get a card from her.
When Tricia was a child in 1947, she saw the Queen in London the night of her wedding to Prince Phillip. She later saw the monarch at a garden party for the Girl Guides Association in the late 1990s.
“I remember her on her wedding day and at the coronation. We stood on the railings at Buckingham Palace when they came out on the balcony,” said Tricia. “It was wonderful.”
“The Queen was just charming—so lovely and sparkly.”