The Queen’s secret handwritten letter hidden in vault – but can’t be opened for 63 years

A letter – handwritten by the Queen before her death – is currently being held in a vault in Australia with strict instructions not to open it until 2085.

The letter is addressed to the people of Sydney and is kept in the city's historic Queen Victoria Building.

The Queen wrote the letter when the building had been fully restored in 1986 and now sits in a glass case inside a restricted area in its dome.

It's said that not even her personal staff know what the letter contains and all that can be seen is who the letter is addressed to and the Queen’s strict instructions as to when the letter can be read.

The letter – which is signed by the Queen herself – is addressed to the "Right and Honourable Lord Mayor of Sydney, Australia".

Below the addressees name it reads: "Greetings. On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085 A.D. would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of Sydney my message to them."

The Queen Victoria Building was first opened in 1898 and was named after Queen Victoria ahead of her Diamond Jubilee.

In the coming years the building faced an uncertain future and was very nearly demolished in favour of civic space and a car park in 1959.

During her reign, Queen Elizabeth II visited the country 16 times.

Her first visit came in 1954 and when the then 27 year old touched down in Sydney she became the first reigning monarch to set foot on Australian soil.

According to reports from the time, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh received "the most tumultuous greeting Sydney has ever given any visitor".

Police estimates put the crowd of people lining the city streets at one million.

Their next visit came in 1963 for Canberra's jubilee celebrations, 50 years on from the naming of the capital.

This was followed up with a visit in 1970 to help celebrate the bi-centenary of Captain James Cook sailing up the east coast of Australia.


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