A Royal Homeschooler Surprise

Arbella England's Lost Queen - Sarah Gristwood - Handwork Homeschool


The surprise all started with this book!  

My daughter, Arabella, loves to watch me work & tries to do research – just like I do.  She chooses “special” books & carefully takes “notes” or copies phrases & words (even before she could read, I’d find papers with scholarly words neatly printed in her little girl hand!)

She is fascinated by queens, in general & princesses, in particular.  We have many children’s books about castles, royalty, balls, handsome princes & beautiful (smart) princesses – it’s practically “fairytale central” around here…

Back to the book, it is definitely not for children but since Arbella is her namesake – it has been a favourite of hers, for some time.  A while ago, after asking all about Arbella, my babe got the idea that she’d like to write to a real queen, Queen Elizabeth.

I nodded & hmmm’ed & generally thought she wasn’t serious, until she wrote this note.

All by herself !

Handwork Homeschool writing to the queen


(You can click to read it but since my pic is a little blurry …

Dear Elizabeth

I have read the book on Princess Arbella.  Have you ?  I love the fashion in it. Do you ?  I love baking and dancing & drawing.  I love it.  And I love creating and I love sewing dresses.  I hope you have a happy summer. I am going to have a happy summer.  

Love Arabella 


I thought it was sweet & filed it away with her other “writings”.  Until it was time to sort things for our annual homeschool inspection.  When I pulled it out – she pounced on it & demanded we mail it.  I was hesitant since I didn’t want her to be disappointed.

Finally, I decided to try it & see what happened.

I looked up Queen Elizabeth’s address * & found out how one is supposed to address a letter to royalty.  (With some persuasion, I was able to get Arabella to add “Queen” to the salutation. Might as well teach a bit of etiquette on the way, I thought.)

Off it went & we forgot all about it.

Until the day I found this envelope in the mailbox!

a letter from buckingham palace ! Handwork Homeschool


At first I thought it was impossible – but the paper was thick, it had the right address & then of course, there was the embossed coat of arms on the back!

Can you imagine ?!?

A letter from BUCKINGHAM PALACE !!!

I carried it into the house gently & gave it to my sweet babe.

I’m not sure who was more excited (since I have more than a passing fancy with royalty myself!) me or her.

And this is what it said –


a letter from the queen - Handwork Homeschool


I know that that Queen is shown most of the letters she receives & some are answered.  I never would have thought this letter would be one of them !  I had to explain to Arabella that the queen has just too many letters to answer them herself but I am certain that the Lady-In-Waiting did read it to her majesty!

There were also two information sheets enclosed with the letter.  One about Queen Elizabeth’s childhood & another about her pets.


royal pets - handwork Homeschool


Queen Elizabeth's early life - Handwork Homeschool


It was on the second sheet that I realized that Queen Elizabeth was HOMESCHOOLED!

It makes total sense but it had never occurred to me!

My kids were fascinated & now I have one more person I can add to my ever-growing list of amazing people who were homeschooled.  (Perfect for those moments at parties when people start giving me the “what-about-socialization?” speech!)

HA!!- well, I think QE is a fabulous example of how well-rounded, utterly successful & super-achieving a homeschooled child can be.

What did I learn ?

Never say never & to remember to support my children’s dreams in any way I can – even when they seem to have nothing to do with the “appropriate curriculum” or at first glance looks to be far beyond their grasp.

This simple experience has brought such delight to our family & is yet another reminder that even the littlest ones can achieve great things we bigger people might think are impossible!

And, the “royal-craze” is growing to epic proportions at our house – Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, 12 Dancing Princesses, Elizabeth I – gowns with hoop skirts are being worn with wild abandon & everything is getting beaded & embroidered…


Young Princesses Elizabeth I - book about royalty Handwork Homeschool


This is just one of many historical children’s books we have in our home collection.  Such a fun way to learn history – when it’s written from a child’s point of view.

So, the next time, you’re trying to come up with an attention-grabbing way to help your child work on their spelling, composition & handwriting – why not have them write a letter to someone they look up to?

You never know where it might lead!.

* If your child might like to write their own letter to Queen Elizabeth,
here’s the address:

Her Majesty The Queen,
Buckingham Palace,
London, England


If you do write – remember to include your return address  – you just might get some “royal” mail of your own ! Oh & the letter “should” be addressed to Your Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth or simply, Madam.  Although I’m sure her correspondence office would understand if your little one came up with their own way to greet Her!

We have many more regal ideas, books & projects on their way – stay tuned !!

Happy Making (& Dreaming)



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