North East Connected

A royal response for kind-hearted Will

Will Cooke with his letter from King Charles lr-3674d970

A Richmond boy is over the moon after receiving a reply from King Charles III, following a letter of condolence he sent to him when Queen Elizabeth II died.

After watching the Queen’s funeral, Will Cooke, Year 7 student at Richmond School and Sixth Form College immediately put pen to paper and wrote a heartfelt letter to the King.  In the letter, he not only expressed his sympathy for the late monarch’s family, but added that he understood first-hand the terrible feeling of grief as his own Nanna, who lived with his family, had passed away only a couple of months before the Queen.  He added that his Nanna had met the Queen and had told him what a really lovely lady she was.

Eleven-year-old Will had a very close relationship with his Nanna who had also met King Charles twice. She had worked as the regional property manager for the Landmark Trust, a heritage charity of which Kings Charles is a patron.  The charity rescues, sensitively restores and then rents out buildings of historic interest so they are protected and the public can enjoy their history, architecture and authentic features.  Will used to love listening to his Nanna talking about the Royal Family and especially her visit to meet the Queen and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace in 2012, in recognition of the work she had done for the Landmark Trust.

Julie, Will’s mum, said: “Will did this without any prompting. He came to me a day after the Queen’s funeral and said he was going to write a letter to King Charles. He said that he understood how incredibly sad he would be feeling and he just wanted him to know that he was thinking of him.”

Will said: “I was really upset when the Queen died as I had so much respect for her and everything she did. I wanted to let King Charles know that so many people across Great Britain and the world were thinking of him. I never expected to receive a reply so it was a bit of a shock as I’m sure the King will have received hundreds of thousands of cards and letters.  I was really excited when I saw the royal crest on the envelope and it is something that I will keep forever.”

Will’s letter from King Charles reads: “It was so very kind of you to send me a wonderfully generous message following the death of my beloved Mother. Your most thoughtful words are enormously comforting and I cannot tell you how deeply they are appreciated at this time of immense sorrow.”

As well his strong interest in the Royal Family, which Will says rubbed off from his Nanna, Will has a passion for History, which is one of his favourite subjects at school. He is especially interested in the history of the Royal Family.

Jenna Potter, Headteacher, said: “What a truly wonderful gesture from Will to send such comforting words to King Charles.  After losing his Nanna, Will was acutely aware of how a death can impact a family and the distress it brings.  We are really proud of Will  for demonstrating such respect, kindness and compassion in this way.  The King’s letter is a fabulous keepsake for Will which I’m sure he will cherish.”

You can find out more about the work of the Landmark Trust at

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