Young Royalist delights in Jubilee events

By Joseph Aldridge

They say young people these days have no appreciation for the British royalty, but that's not true for Northland's Evelyn Cluard.

Evelyn, 10, of Kauri, is a big fan of the royals and has been glued to the television during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations this weekend.

Born in south-east London, Evelyn moved to New Zealand with her parents Heather and Steve when she was 2 years old.

Perhaps it's that British blood running through her veins, or the old cliche that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but Evelyn has always been fascinated by the royal family.

"Evelyn was two when we moved out and she asked questions like 'how near did we live from Buckingham Palace?"' mum Heather said.

Not content to hear about the royals from her parents, Evelyn started writing letters to them in 2008 when she was 6 years old.

A reply from the Queen gave her confidence to try writing to some of the others in the royal family.

Since then she's exchanged letters with Prince Charles, Princes William and Harry, Princess Anne and recently the Queen again.

Replying to Evelyn's recent letter, Queen Elizabeth II wrote: "I send you my grateful thanks for the words of loyalty and support which you have so kindly sent on the occasion of the Sixtieth Anniversary of my Accession to the Throne."

A reply from Prince Charles in 2009 was more candid.

Charles sent a picture of himself with his jack russell terrier Tigga.

"It think it rather looks as if Tigga is smiling for the camera as well," he wrote.

Evelyn's mum said coming to New Zealand had increased her family's appreciation of the royal family.

"It's just on the news all the time over there, just like the Beckhams, but being here we can actually appreciate it more and see what they're really like.

"It makes me feel a bit homesick as well," Ms Cluard said.

Following a suggestion from Evelyn, her school Kaurihohore will be holding a street party to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this week.

- Northern Advocate

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