A 92-year-old Aurora man got the letter of a lifetime in response to a message he wrote to the royal family.
Gerald Vivian James and his wife Alice Oleva James hit a milestone wedding anniversary on October 26, 2017 -- 70 years of marriage.
"We had dinner with our friends and relatives at the country club," he said.
Around the same time, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were also celebrating the same milestone anniversary of 70 years. Gerald James' father grew up in Wales, so the couple always felt a special connection to Great Britain and the royal family. Because of that, James decided to take a leap of faith and write a letter to the royal couple, specifically the queen.
He researched what he needed to do, and then printed, signed and sent well wishes and congratulations overseas. In his message to the majesty, he also wrote of his history, his heritage and of his marriage.
Fast forward to now: Gerald James said he received a response. He got a reply from a "lady in waiting" that was accompanied by an official thank you card from the royal rulers themselves.
"I cherish the pictures of them (they sent) of when they were first married and the way they look today," James said.
It's a bittersweet gift for James because he is now mourning the loss of his lifelong companion. Only days after their anniversary, Alice James passed away. Though James' heart is hurting, he said he knows his spouse, his sweetheart, would have been impressed when she saw the response.
"Oh, she'd have probably been amazed," he said. "She'd have been speechless I imagine, and that'd be pretty good for her because usually, she's a talker."
And for him, that's enough to keep him smiling.
"It's good for a lifetime, and my lifetime's probably not that long yet," he said.
James said he and his wife never got the chance to travel to the United Kingdom which makes the response letter even more special.
You can read the letters below:
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