What’s inside the Queen’s secret letter that can’t be opened for another 63 years?

·3-min read
Photo credit: DANIEL LEAL - Getty Images
Photo credit: DANIEL LEAL - Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth II has left behind a top secret letter containing a message to the residents of Sydney, Australia - and only Her Majesty knew what was written and why.

It’s said that not even her most personal staff have any knowledge of the letter’s contents. One thing, however, that we do know is that it cannot be opened for another 63 years.

The monarch, who passed away on 8 September at the age of 96, crafted the letter over 30 years ago in 1986. According to reports it was written by way of celebrating the restoration of a well known building in Sydney, the Queen Victoria Building – named after Elizabeth’s great-grandmother Queen Victoria in 1898.

The impressive building was a tribute to Queen Victoria, and replaced the original Sydney markets. But in the 1950s, the building's future looked very different. Plans were in place to have it demolished, but the people of Sydney disagreed, and saved it through endless campaigning. Queen Elizabeth II, it's said, was very pleased with this outcome and saw it as something to be celebrated.

Photo credit: PETER PARKS - Getty Images
Photo credit: PETER PARKS - Getty Images

The intriguing handwritten letter is addressed to the Lord Mayor of Sydney, and is safely locked away in a vault within the historic monument [via the New York Post]. But why is there a waiting period on when it can be opened – and what message might Her Majesty have wanted to send?

Unfortunately nobody knows for sure but we can take a guess based on some of the facts that are already out there.

First up: one obvious theory is that the Queen put pen to paper to simply thank the city’s residents for saving the building. The QVB building is now a shopping centre, but it was very close to being demolished entirely and replaced with… a parking lot.

As for that very specific date on which the letter can be opened (which is still 63 years away), in 1986, a Malaysian company signed a 99-year lease on the building until 2085, which is – yep, you've guessed it – the same year the Queen’s letter is due to be opened in (which sounds to us like more than a coincidence?).

Perhaps in the letter, the Queen has asked for the lease to be extended, suggesting that the building is so close to her heart she wishes for it to remain safe (and standing) even after her death.

Photo credit: Fairfax Media Archives - Getty Images
Photo credit: Fairfax Media Archives - Getty Images

The letter comes with specific instructions for Sydney’s Lord Mayor too, who will be the one granted permission to open the top secret handwritten note.

The front of the envelope states: 'On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085 AD, would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of Sydney my message to them'. It was signed off with ‘Elizabeth R’ (with the 'R' standing for 'regina', which is latin for 'queen').

Because Australia is a Commonwealth country, Queen Elizabeth II served as the country’s head of state for 70 years. While on the throne, she made 16 trips to Australia – the last visit being in 2011. Now, as the current reigning British monarch King Charles III is Australia’s head of state.

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