An adoring grandson has shared a heartwarming story which proves that the Queen really does read her Christmas cards.
Writing on Facebook, Andrew Simes from Izmir in Turkey told how his grandfather, Albert Alfred Simes, had written a Christmas card to the King or Queen of the day every year until his death, aged 102, in 2011.
He added that since taking to the throne in 1952, the Queen had continued to receive the correspondence.
Mr Simes recalled the monarch even recognised his grandfather's name twenty years later when they were introduced at a reception in Izmir, where he also lived.
When it was his turn to be introduced to the Queen, instead of a formal handshake, she paused, smiled, and quipped: 'so it's you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmas cards.'
"Of all her subjects, Grandpa stood out (perhaps because he mailed his letters from Turkey), but what a memory and level of kindness on the Queen's part," he wrote.
"She even wrote him to congratulate him on his 100th birthday."
When his grandfather died three years ago, the younger Simes - who described himself as his "admirer and student" - took on the mantle of writing to Her Majesty each year "to show our appreciation".
Weeks after sending the first of these cards, Simes said he received a letter with an envelope which "suggested it was sent from Buckingham Palace" - and was deeply moved by what it contained.
In it was written: "When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather's whereabouts. Therefore it is with much sadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you and your family."
"I couldn't fight back the tears then, nor can I fight them back every time I remember this story of two people who left a lifelong impression on each other," he wrote.
He added: "And today, just as every year, I sent my Christmas cards... but top of the list was reserved for Her Majesty. Wishing you all a Christmas as magical as this story."
Mr Simes' post has been shared thousands of times on the social network, with numerous people commenting how touched they were by the tale.
One, Clara Botana, wrote: "Beautiful story Andrew, your grandfather was an extraordinary person, as you are. Merry Christmas and may the New Year be an improvement over this one."
Another, Mary Sykes, wrote: "Wow...what an amazing legacy he left...what a heartwarming story. Andrew, you really need to write a book."