As the nation tuned in to hear The Queen’s Christmas Day speech, north Suffolk organist Dougie Chittock celebrated receiving his own personal message of thanks from Her Royal Highness.
Mr Chittock, who has played the organ for more than 60 years, wrote to The Queen earlier this year after he played 60 hymns on the organ at All Saint’s Church in Stradbroke, to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
Mr Chittock, who even asked The Queen what her favourite hymn was so he could play it on the day, said he though he had been forgotten about until a letter landed on his door mat two weeks ago.
“I was really surprised to receive it,” said Mr Chittock. “I looked at the letter when I picked it up from the mat and I said to my wife I’ve got a letter from Buckingham Palace!
“I thought they had forgotten me but it did say in the letter that due to the high volume of messages received it hadn’t been possible to reply until now.”
Mr Chittock received a letter and a card with photographs of The Queen on it, sent by the senior correspondents officer for Buckingham Palace on behalf of Her Majesty.
The letter read: “I send my grateful thanks for the words of loyalty and support that you sent on my Diamond Jubilee.”
Mr Chittock, who ended up playing a marathon session of 80 hymns instead of 60, added: “I was so thrilled. It was nice to get some recognition after all that.
“I still don’t know what The Queen’s favourite hymn is though because the letter said she doesn’t reveal her favourites to anyone.”
Mr Chittock said he came up with the idea as he had been playing the organ for more than 60 years, the whole of Her Majesty’s reign. He said it was an added pleasure and fitting to do something like that to celebrate the milestone event.
Mr Chittock’s celebration was part of a weekend of events across south Norfolk and north Suffolk which saw thousands of residents coming together to celebrate The Queen’s 60 years on the throne.