Queen Elizabeth personally thanks man who sent her Christmas cards for 60 years

/ Source: TODAY

Every year, when the holiday season rolls around, Andrew Simes sends a Christmas card to Queen Elizabeth II and thinks of his beloved grandfather, Albert Alfred Simes.

It's a tradition that he carried on after his grandfather passed away at the age of 102 in the summer of 2011.

Albert sent a card to the queen every Christmas since 1952, and when they finally met at a reception in Izmir, Turkey, where he lived, she didn't give him a formal handshake. Instead, she said, "So it's you who keeps sending me those lovely Christmas cards."

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"Of all her subjects, Grandpa stood out (perhaps because he mailed his letters from Turkey), but what a memory and level of kindness on the Queen's part," Andrew wrote on Facebook. TODAY reached out to him for additional comment, but didn't immediately hear back.

Albert even received a congratulatory letter from her on his 100th birthday.

"As a loyal grandson, admirer and student of his, I took it upon myself to continue writing our Queen every year to show our appreciation," Andrew wrote. "And I started that very first Christmas after Grandpa's passing."

A month later, in January 2012, Andrew received a letter postmarked from Buckingham Palace.

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"When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather's whereabouts," Queen Elizabeth wrote. "Therefore it is with much sadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you and your family."

Seeing those words coming from someone his grandpa looked up to seemed to have a big impact on the younger Simes.

"I couldn't fight back the tears then, nor can I fight them back every time I remember this story of two people who left a lifelong impression on each other," Andrew wrote. "And today, just as every year, I sent my Christmas cards... but top of the list was reserved for Her Majesty. Wishing you all a Christmas as magical as this story."