Q: Can a congratulatory message from the Queen be a surprise or must the recipients be advised in advance?
A: No, the telegram from the Queen can be, and usually is, a surprise. Liaison with a family member over the detailed arrangements is all that is required.
Q: Do I have to apply for a special message from the Queen, or can it happen automatically?
A: The designated birthday messages from the Queen can happen automatically in which case the Scottish Executive will contact the Council and efforts will be made to contact family members to make appropriate arrangements. Sometimes, a birthday can be missed so it is best to contact the Council direct. Messages for special wedding anniversaries never happen automatically. A family member must make a request for Diamond, 65th and 70th wedding anniversaries and annually thereafter.
Q: For which special occasions can I apply for a message from the Queen?
A: Messages from the Queen can be requested to mark 100th birthdays, 105th birthdays and annually thereafter; Diamond Wedding Anniversaries, 65th and 70th anniversaries and annually thereafter. Messages are not available for Golden Weddings. Proof of the anniversary will be required. A photocopy of the Marriage Certificate or sight of the original is normally required, or in the case of a birthday, a birth certificate might be necessary depending on circumstances.
Q: Is there another way to arrange for the message from the Queen?
A: To get a message from the Queen to commemorate a special anniversary, you can contact Buckingham Palace direct but it is best to save time by contacting the Council yourself.
Q: Who else is involved in organising a special message from the Queen to mark an important anniversary?
A: The Lord Lieutenant locally will be informed as he or she is the Queen's representative who will deliver the message along with a representative from Royal Mail. It is also customary to inform the local MP, MSP and local Councillor. You do not need to contact any of these people yourself - they will be informed and invited on your behalf.