Most people have to wait until they are 100 to get a letter from the Queen.
But little Annie McElhone was just five when she received a royal seal of approval through the door.
Annie, a pupil at St Mary’s RC Primary School, Claughton-on-Brock, was thrilled to receive the letter from one of Her Majesty’s ladies-in-waiting after she sent the Queen a card over Easter.
Annie, who lives in Fulwood, penned the letter after her dad, Ian, went to work in London on a landscape gardening project.
Ian, who won an award at last year’s Southport Flower Show for one of his garden designs, was asked to create a garden in the capital, leaving Annie and her younger siblings Neve, Joe, Isla and Seth at home with their mum, Vicky.
Vicky, 36, said: “We were just chatting about Daddy and how he was getting on in London and I suggested she wrote him a card and sent it down.
“But Annie said she didn’t know exactly where Daddy was, so she would write to the Queen and ask her to pass it on.”
Annie coloured in a special card and wrote a message inside, asking: “Dear Queen, Is it gud in London because my dad is working there?”
With the envelope sealed, stamped, and addressed to Buckingham Palace, Annie and her mum skipped off to the postbox to send the letter.
Vicky said: “We made a big song and dance about posting it, but I really didn’t think she would get a reply.”
But when an envelope came through the door, addressed to Annie and bearing the Buckingham Palace postmark, the family was thrilled.
Vic said: “Annie cried when she opened it. She was quite overwhelmed. She thinks she is penfriends with the Queen now and is already planning her next letter!
“When she told her friends at school they didn’t believe her, but then the headteacher read it out in assembly and they were amazed.”
Annie’s was one of 25 letters, out of more than 200 received at Buckingham Palace each day, selected by the ladies in waiting to be taken for the Queen to read personally.
Ian, who has now returned home to the family, sadly never received the Easter card his daughter had planned to send him, but the family are thrilled with Annie’s special letter from the Queen.