Skip to content

Congratulatory messages

You can get a congratulatory message from The Queen on special birthdays and certain wedding anniversaries. The following procedures apply to those married in Northern Ireland

What is a congratulatory message?

In 1917 His Majesty King George V began the tradition of sending messages of congratulations to those of his subjects celebrating their 100th birthdays and 60th wedding anniversaries. Subsequent reigning monarchs have continued this custom.

Congratulatory messages are issued on the following occasions:

  • birthdays - The Queen sends messages to individuals on the occasion of their 100th and 105th birthdays and then every year thereafter
  • wedding anniversaries - you can request that The Queen sends her congratulations on Diamond (60th), 65th and Platinum (70th) wedding anniversaries and every year thereafter

Congratulatory messages consist of a card from Her Majesty. They come in a distinctive envelope, are sent special delivery through the Royal Mail and arrive, when possible, on the day of the anniversary.

You can find out more about congratulatory messages on the following information leaflet.

How do you receive a congratulatory message?

Birthdays

For Northern Ireland residents who are celebrating their 100th, 105th and subsequent birthdays you should contact the Centenarian Clerk at the address below.

Wedding anniversaries

The following procedures apply only to those married in Northern Ireland

For those married outside Northern Ireland please go to the Official website of the British Monarchy.

Receiving a congratulatory message from Her Majesty The Queen for a qualifying wedding anniversary depends upon the successful verification of the date of the marriage.

Verification can be provided either by producing the original wedding certificate (or a legible photocopy) or by confirming the date of marriage via the General Register Office (GRO) records.

If you can access the marriage certificate of the parties celebrating their wedding anniversary please follow Procedure A as outlined below.

If you are unable to access the celebrants' marriage certificate and need to verify the date of marriage with the GRO please follow Procedure B as outlined below.

Please ensure that you leave sufficient time for the application to be processed.

If a congratulatory message has been received for a previous wedding anniversary, please contact the Centenarian and Anniversary Clerk directly as the date of marriage will have already been verified.

Procedure A

Step 1

At least six weeks before the date of the anniversary contact the Anniversary Clerk as follows:

The Centenarian and Anniversary Clerk
Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister
Central Appointments Unit
Room A5.13
Castle Buildings
Belfast
BT4 3SR

Step 2

Send the original or a legible photocopy of the marriage certificate to the Anniversary Clerk to verify the date of the marriage. Legible photocopies would be preferred but original certificates, if submitted, will be returned.

On receipt of the certificate the Anniversary Clerk will make the application for a congratulatory message for you.

Procedure B

Step 1

At least six weeks before the date of the anniversary apply to the General Register Office either by telephoning their call centre on the number below or by using Marriage Certificate Application (Northern Ireland) - form GRO 42.

You can apply for either a copy of the marriage certificate or for a 'search only' by telephone or by completing Section 3 of the GRO 42 form. Either will be acceptable for verification purposes.

You should read the guidance notes on the application form for details about how to apply and how much it will cost.

Step 2

Contact the Anniversary Clerk and send the copy of the marriage certificate or the search letter from the GRO to the Anniversary Clerk at the address above. On receipt of this verification the Anniversary Clerk will make the application for a congratulatory message for you.