The secret letter is addressed to the people of Sydney. Written in November 1986, the letter is locked in a secret vault inside the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney’s Central Business District.
A secret letter from the late Queen Elizabeth II addressed to the people of Sydney is locked in a vault in Australia and cannot be opened for 63 years. Written in November 1986, the letter has already been in existence for 36 years. Stored in a glass case, the letter is locked in a secret vault inside the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney’s Central Business District. It is placed in the restricted dome area at the top of the building, according to reports.
Not even the Queen’s personal staff has access to the letter, which will be opened in 2085, ANI quoted a report by 7NEWS Australia.
The letter was written to celebrate the restoration of the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. The Queen Victoria Building was opened in 1898 and was named in honour of the then reigning monarch. It was nearly demolished in the 1950s to make space for car parks and other infrastructure. However, a bid to restore the building was successfully made and the restoration work was completed in 1986 when the letter from Queen Elizabeth was penned. It was restored by a Malaysian company, which holds the lease for 99 years. Queen Elizabeth II was the great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
The letter is addressed to the Lord Mayor of Sydney. The instructions on the letter say, “On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085 AD, would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of Sydney my message to them.” It is signed, “Elizabeth R.”
Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia 16 times as the head of state, the final one being in 2011 when she was 85. The country held a referendum to remove the Queen as head of state in 1999, which was defeated.
Another letter from the British monarch to Governor-General Sir John Kerr also remains a secret. In 1975, Kerr used the queen’s authority to dissolve the government of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam to resolve a month-old deadlock in Parliament. It was believed that the queen was aware of Kerr’s plan to dismiss Whitlam’s government.
Whitlam’s biographer Jenny Hocking fought a battle for four years to get the letter between the queen and Kerr released by the National Archive of Australia in 2020. However, the courts said the letters were personal and might never be made public, AP reported.
(Edited by : Sudarsanan Mani)