A retirement living resident in Birmingham has received a royal seal of approval after he spent 70 hours painstakingly producing a hand-drawn 90th birthday card for the Queen.
Frank Campbell, 77, a resident at Sanctuary Housing’s Homelands retirement living scheme, crafted the A3 card on behalf of the resident’s committee at the scheme.
His effort has paid off, with the Queen’s lady-in-waiting sending a letter of appreciation to residents and staff at the scheme, complete with a photo of, and message of thanks from, the royal herself.
The letter explained that the sheer volume of messages received by the Queen for her birthday celebrations meant it had taken until October to be able to issue a reply.
Years of landmarks on one card
In Frank’s card, the Queen was depicted as an infant in the top left and as she appears in the present day in the bottom right, with the crowning of her coronation in the centre.
All of the remaining space on the card was carpeted with a montage of different events and landmarks that she has witnessed across her life, including the opening of the M1 motorway, the scaling of Everest, the rise of the Internet and the turn of the Millennium.
The number 90 was superimposed above the image as a whole, with the digits reaching out to touch nearly every scene on the card.
Nearly all of Homelands’ 50 residents signed the decades-spanning card, which was sent to Her Majesty, care of the Earl and Countess of Wessex.
“Rewarding to hear back”
Frank said: “We were unsure that the birthday card had been received by Her Majesty, so it was rewarding to know that it had.
“It was well worth the delay to receive the lovely card and thank you letter explaining the situation.
“When I was approached by the committee, I spent a couple of days thinking about it and had the idea of drawing a path between the Queen as a young princess to where she is now.
“All the other scenes on the card – the first Times crossword, the moon landing – are scenes that are important to everyday people, her subjects.”
Scheme manager Sarah Roden said: “The residents knew they wanted something unique to present to the Queen and this was a really well thought-out way of doing so.
“It’s wonderful to see their efforts, especially the hours of work put in by Frank, recognised by Her Royal Highness.”