Congratulatory messages are cards sent by The Queen to mark special birthdays or wedding anniversaries. They come in a distinctive envelope, are sent by special delivery through the Royal Mail and arrive, when possible, on the day of the anniversary.
Receiving a congratulatory message
You can receive a congratulatory message on the following occasions:
- birthdays - 100th and 105th birthdays and then every year after
- wedding anniversaries - Diamond (60th), 65th and Platinum (70th) wedding anniversaries and every year after
You can apply online through The Royal Family website, or if you are a Northern Ireland resident you can contact the Centenarian and Anniversary Clerk.
- apply online for congratulatory birthday message
- apply online for congratulatory wedding anniversary message
You must contact the Centenarian and Anniversary Clerk to request a congratulatory message at least six weeks before the birthday or anniversary date.
If you live in Northern Ireland and get the UK state pension, the Centenarian and Anniversaries office will be told about your birthday by the Pensions branch. You do not need to apply.
If you are a Northern Ireland resident, celebrating a special wedding anniversary you can contact the Centenarian and Anniversary Clerk to request a congratulatory message.
You will need the following:
- the full names, address and postcode for the couple receiving the message
- your contact details including a valid e-mail address
- a copy of the couple’s marriage certificate (digital photograph, scanned or paper copy) or a letter from the General Register Office (GRONI) confirming the date of marriage
If you received a congratulatory message for a previous wedding anniversary, you should contact the Centenarian and Anniversary Clerk directly as the date of marriage will have already been verified.
If you were married outside Northern Ireland, but hold a British passport and are resident in Northern Ireland you can apply to the Anniversary Clerk as above.
You will need to send the original or a legible photocopy of the marriage certificate to the clerk.
You can also apply online.
If you don’t have an original or copy of your marriage certificate you can order one from the General Register Office for Northern Ireland (GRONI).
Find out more about ordering a marriage certificate.
Alternatively you can contact GRONI and request a ‘search only’ record to verify the date of your marriage.