Queen Elizabeth And US Woman Exchanged Letters Each Year On Their Shared Birthday

The woman and Queen Elizabeth II shared the same birthday, April 21, 1926, and had been exchanging letters since 1953.

Ritika Joshi
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Queen Elizabeth Letters
A woman from the United States recently revealed that she and Queen Elizabeth II have been exchanging letters for the past 70 years. The woman and Queen Elizabeth II shared the same birthday, April 21, 1926, and had been exchanging letters since 1953.

96-year-old Adele Hankey, from North Dakota, United States of America sent her first letter to Queen Elizabeth II after she was crowned on June 2, 1953.

Surprisingly, the Queen responded to Hankey and sent back a birthday card. Since then, the pen pals sent each other birthday cards and handwritten letters for around 70 years. Hankey said, “I could have jumped out of my shoes” after she received her first correspondence from the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth Letters To Pen Pal

At one point, the late Queen and Hankey even discussed their shared love for marmalade. In one of the Queen’s cards to Hankey, she mentioned her love for orange marmalade. Hankey said, “I liked the jelly she put on bread because it was the same as mine.”

Exchanging handwritten letters became a birthday tradition for Hankey and the Queen. Hankey once asked Queen Elizabeth for one of her iconic hats, hoping that she would send her one. While she did not receive one of the Queen's trademark hats, she was sent a lovely picture on her birthday.

Though the two never met, the two pen pals shared a connection that went beyond their shared birthday. Hankey described the bond they shared, “Pen pal, that’s what I call her, and I am going to miss that.” She added that she always looked forward to receiving the Queen’s letters.


Adele Hankey is an avid writer that has written for Walsh County Records, the Walsh County Press, and the Dakota Country Magazine. She has also written her own cookbook and is known for her wildlife recipes.

While Hankey does not remember exactly how many letters she wrote to the Queen, she will miss their correspondence. Hankey said, “Oh absolutely. You miss your pen pals.”

Queen Elizabeth II passed away on September 8 at the age of 96. The late Queen was the first monarch to reign for 70 years.

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Queen Elizabeth II