Couple among last to get card from Queen which was opened on day she died

·3 min read
Tricia Pont, 81, and husband Ray, 84, are among the final people to receive a signed correspondence from The Queen after opening a letter on the day she died. (SWNS)
Tricia Pont, 81, and husband Ray, 84, are among the final people to receive a signed correspondence from The Queen after opening a letter on the day she died. (SWNS)

An elderly couple have shared their "mixed emotions" after they opened a card from The Queen on the day she died.

Tricia Pont, 81, and husband Ray, 84, were among the final people to receive signed correspondence from the monarch when a card for their 60th wedding anniversary arrived on Wednesday (7 September).

The couple, from Godalming in Surrey, opened it the following day on their anniversary - the same day the Queen died.

The Ponts saved the card to open on their anniversary, but while they were out to lunch they heard that the Queen was ill, finding out when they returned home that she had died.

They said the occasion ended up being a day of "mixed emotions" and they would now cherish the "precious and poignant" card from Her Majesty.

The card arrived on Wednesday but the couple waited until Thursday to open it - not knowing it would be the same day the Queen died. (SWNS)
The card arrived on Wednesday but the couple waited until Thursday to open it - not knowing it would be the same day the Queen died. (SWNS)

Ray, a retired surveyor, said: "It was our wedding anniversary having spent 60 years together and someone in the family decided they would like us to get a card from the Queen.

"It arrived on the day before our anniversary and we kept it to open on the morning of our anniversary.

"We were delighted to have received it and it had a nice picture on the front.

"I was so excited to open the card. I thought it would be such a lovely moment for our family.

Watch: Details of how public can attend lying-in-state revealed with warning of queues

Read more: When is the Queen's funeral?

"We then went out to have lunch together and when we were there my phone pinged, we were told we should look online as something was wrong with the Queen. Obviously that bought darkness on our lunch.

"We came home and turned the TV on and it was obvious that she was very unwell, and it ended with her dying.

"It makes the card even more precious and poignant as we were one of the last people to get correspondence from her."

The card features a picture of the Queen smiling on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during her Jubilee celebrations. (SWNS)
The card features a picture of the Queen smiling on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during her Jubilee celebrations. (SWNS)

The card, which features a photograph of the Queen smiling on the Buckingham Palace balcony at her Jubilee celebrations in June, reads: "I am so pleased to know you are celebrating your Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 8th, September 2022.

"I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion."

All couples who reach their diamond wedding anniversary receive a card of congratulations from the monarch.

Pont added: "We are big supporters of her, she is a great role model for the whole nation and she was admired for her stoicism. She was really committed.

"It really put a downer on the day but then we thought about how privileged we were to be one of the last few people to get a card from her."

Ray and Tricia Pont said they had been left with 'mixed emotions' after receiving the card and learning of the Queen's death on their wedding anniversary. (SWNS)
Ray and Tricia Pont said they had been left with 'mixed emotions' after receiving the card and learning of the Queen's death on their wedding anniversary. (SWNS)

His wife Tricia saw the Queen as a child in 1947 when she was taken to London the night of her wedding to Prince Phillip, and later also met her at a garden party for the Girl Guides Association in the late 1990s.

She said: "I remember her on her wedding day and at the coronation. We stood on the railings at Buckingham Palace when they came out on the balcony. It was wonderful.

"I have had lots of opportunities to see her. The garden party was a lovely day too.

"The Queen was just charming. I didn’t manage to speak to her but she was lovely and sparkly. I feel very privileged to have had contact with Her Majesty."