Newcastle girl who loved her letter from 'her friend' the Queen recalls special moment

Ballroom dancer Madeleine Gibbs, 7, received her letter whilst at a dance competition in Blackpool. Credit: Family photo

A seven year-old girl from Newcastle has shared her memory of receiving a letter from "her friend" the Queen.

Ballroom dancer Madeleine Gibbs received her letter while at a dance competition in Blackpool.

Her mum Louise Gibbs said: "She was really really excited.

"She went round the whole of Winter Gardens Ballroom showing everybody this letter that she got from the Queen.

"She was all dressed up ready for her to dance and I think she was more obsessed with the letter rather than getting ready to dance."

Madeleine wrote to the Queen last year following the death of Prince Phillip.

Ms Gibbs said her daughter was very upset to see the Queen on her own at her husband's funeral.

She said: "She was very concerned that she would suddenly be lonely with nobody in the house with her."

Madeleine asked if the Queen would like to be her pen pal. Credit: Family photo

In her letter, Madeleine drew a picture of her and the Queen dancing and holding hands as well as writing: "To Queen Elizabeth.

"I am Madeleine and I am six. I am learning about London at school, I love it.

"I am coming to London with Mummy, Auntie and my sisters Melanie and Jennifer to see Buckingham Palace. I would like to go on the eye.

"First I am going to Blackpool to a ballroom dancing competition at Blackpool tower. I love Cha Cha best. Do you like to dance? Will you be my pen pal?

"Lots of love, Madeleine. xxx"

Her family did not expect her to get a reply but while she was at a dance competition, a letter from Buckingham Palace arrived.

Her grandparents brought the letter to the competition for Madeleine to see.

Grandmother Catherine McGreevy said: "She opened it and just her face.

"She sat for a full hour on the floor reading it every bit."

Madeleine was over the moon to receive a letter back from the Queen. Credit: Family photo

In the reply, one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting wrote: "The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your letter, with the colourful little drawing you made for Her Majesty to see.

"Although The Queen is unable to reply personally to all the many letters she receives every day, Her Majesty was interested to learn about your family’s visits to London and Blackpool, and The Queen much appreciated your kind thought for her at this time.

"I enclose two information sheets which I hope you will enjoy, and I am to thank you once again for writing as you did."

As Madeleine had said she was due to go to London for a trip with her family, the lady-in-waiting had included some information sheets about London in her letter.

Since learning about the death of the Queen Madeleine's family said she has been very upset and it has even affected her dancing.

Ms Gibbs said: "She’s absolutely devastated.

"She just cried and then, she was asking about when the funeral will be and could she go to the funeral and I said 'no it's in London'.

"She danced on Sunday at a dance competition and she wore a black bow on her ballroom dress for the queen.

"She was really distracted, and a bit off her game."

Mrs McGreevy said her granddaughter feels she has a special connection with the Queen as both Madeleine and her great nana's middle name is Elizabeth.

She said: "My friend’s gone, she (Madeleine) said.

"She loves the Queen.

"She’s got photographs of my mum and she just kept saying that she looks like my great nana."

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