Eddie Klosterman of South Pasadena wanted to do something really special for his nephew Charlie Esam’s 21st birthday last December.
The planned trip to Las Vegas to introduce Charlie to his first legal drink and legal gambling just didn’t seem like enough. So what did he do? He invited the Queen of England.
It made total sense, really. That’s because Charlie was born and raised in England; Klosterman himself lived there with his parents and siblings for several years as a teen.
“I had read something about how she responds to every piece of mail that she gets,” Klosterman said in an interview February 12. “So I thought, maybe she’ll respond to this.”
Not surprisingly, Queen Elizabeth didn’t show. But she did send her kind regrets via her lady-in-waiting.
“The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your letter in which you invited Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh to your nephew’s twenty-first birthday party in Las Vegas in December,” read the letter, which was indeed hand-signed and dated by the Hon. Annabel Whitehead.
That was exciting enough for the birthday boy.
“He was flabbergasted,” Klosterman recalls of Charlie’s reaction when he saw the letter. “He could not stop reading it.” Klosterman had the letter framed and gave it to Charlie for posterity.
Charlie, an English literature major at Bristol University in England and captain of his rugby team, was traveling at press time and couldn’t be reached for comment. But Charlie’s mother, Marihelen Esam, had this to say via email from England: “We laughed so hard we cried when Eddie showed us what he had done. It was a birthday to remember!”
Needless to say, the family – about 20 of them – had a fabulous time in Las Vegas, even without Her Majesty.
Unfortunately, Charlie didn’t win anything at the gambling tables.
But his uncle did. With his winnings, Klosterman said, “I paid for the house we rented, I paid for my half of the car, I paid my share of the groceries, I paid for my Amber’s airfare and my airfare, and for the taxi to and from the airport, and I still came home with 500 bucks.”
Box: Her Majesty’s response
The letter from Buckingham Palace reads in part:
“The Queen wishes me to write and thank you for your letter in which you invited Her Majesty and The Duke of Edinburgh to your nephew’s twenty-first birthday party in Las Vegas in December.
Although unable to join you, The Queen and His Royal Highness much appreciated your kind thought for them, and I hope that Charlie Esam has a memorable time with his friends and family.”