Brooklyn Ringuette

Brooklyn Ringuette shows the card showing a picture of Prince Philip contained in a note she received from Buckingham Palace.

(Goodwin photo)

Brooklyn Ringuette is only young but she can truly say she has corresponded with royalty.

The eight-year-old Pictou girl recently received a reply from the Queen for a letter of sympathy she composed in May after the passing of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

It was a card from Buckingham Palace and featured a photo of Prince Philip and two notes. One read “In memory of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh” and the other read “I send my sincere thanks for your kind words of sympathy on the death of my husband. Elizabeth R.”

Brooklyn wrote that she felt “really bad because your husband died” and thanked the Queen “for being the best queen ever”. She enclosed a phone number in case the Queen might want to call her.

Brooklyn said she did not expect a reply but was glad to receive it.

“I felt good,” she said. “I felt fantastic. I thought the Queen was not going to send anything back.”

The girl’s parents were equally surprised.

“I think it was awesome,” her mother, Jody Lynn, said. “We totally forgot she sent the letter and then she said, ‘Look what came!’”

Her father, Matt, said he never thought the family would receive a royal reply.

“We’d forgotten all about it,” he said. “I checked the mail and it was marked air mail. I thought it was for my work; then I saw Buckingham Palace on it.”

The next task was to retrieve a photo of the original letter Brooklyn wrote.

Brooklyn has become a letter writer.

“I write letters to my nanna and papa,” she said about her grandparents in Ontario. “I also write letters to Santa.”

She does not mind admitting a friend helped her write the letter. She had her neighbour, Emma, who is 12, help her write the letter.

“I drew a picture of the Queen and a picture of me,” she said.

Brooklyn’s precociousness extends to West Pictou Consolidated School, which she attends despite moving with her family from Lyons Brook to Pictou.

“I don’t want to leave West Pictou,” she said. “All my friends are there.”

She also appreciates teachers who encourage students to write.

“I like writing,” she said. “I like describing things. My teacher gives us themes to write about. I like math and I like going online with my friends.”

Brooklyn also shared her wide view of things and their possibilities.

She asked her parents, “Can I start a YouTube channel? I’m going to be in the newspaper so I want to be famous.”

That remark did not surprise her father.

“She’s got an imagination,” he said. “The things she thinks about…”


Steve Goodwin is never without his camera and a notebook. He has been covering news and sports in Pictou County for more than four decades.