Tuesday, 4 Oct 2022

Ms Universe model ‘scared to open’ letter from Queen hours after her death

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A Ms Universe winner who received one of the Queen's last ever letters says she was "scared" to open it.

Kerri Parker, 38, was shocked to find an enveloped emblazoned with the royal seal hiding in her mail on Friday September 9, less than 24 hours after Her Majesty's passing was announced.

The letter was actually a reply to one the model from Norwich sent the Queen few weeks prior.

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth's 'dearest wish was to patch things up' with Harry and Royal Family

Kerri is a brain tumour patient and was first diagnosed with cancer in 2012. Her tumour was removed but it grew back terminal in 2017.

Despite CBD oil treatment that was initially successful, she explained that "the cancer came back quite badly last year".

Throughout her battle she's raised over £16,000 for Brain Tumour Research, which funded six days of research, and spoke in the House of Commons about the "small percentage" of funding directed towards brain cancer compared to other forms of the disease.

Her incredible work saw her invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace in July for the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

"I got to meet all the Yeoman of the Guard, the ones who were walking with the procession for the funeral," Kerri told the Daily Star.

"Princess Anne, we met her, she was lovely. She came along and met everyone.

"It really lifted because I'd gone terminal again that month pretty much, so it was such a good boost for me – something extraordinary."

Kerri wrote to the Queen, not expecting a reply, as she felt she "couldn't go to something like that and not say thank you".

"I said to my mum when the Queen died: 'She’ll never know what her kindness did for me that day'."

Then fast forward to two weeks ago. Kerri continued: "It was a posh envelope on really posh paper and I’m thinking ‘this isn’t a bill’. It had the royal seal on the back, and when I flipped it it said Buckingham Palace.

“I rang my mum and said: ‘I have a letter here that says Buckingham Palace, what do I do? I’m scared’."

After she plucked up the courage to open it, Kerri found a letter dated September 5 from the Queen's royal correspondence officer Tara Mundy, attached with a message from the monarch herself.

"I send you my grateful thanks for your kind message on the occasion of the Seventieth Anniversary of my Accession to the Throne," the Queen wrote.

Ms Mundy's letter explained that the Queen had asked her to thank Kerri. It read in part: "It was kind of you to let the Queen know of your efforts in raising money and awareness for brain tumour research."

Kerri has had a whirlwind few weeks, scooping the Ms Universe World International crown for the petite category in Miami, being told her cancer is currently "stable" and then receiving the letter.

She described the days after the Queen's death as a mixture of emotions, honoured to have received the letter but impacted by the "sadness" and "significance" of what has happened.

She said: "What a wonderful lady. It’s comforting to think that she’ll be back with her true love as such. The ceremony was just heart-breaking.

"King Charles as well, you could see the grief on his face, but not once did he falter.

"What really broke me was actually the animals. You saw the corgis and the horse Emma standing there. It just shows they are missing their mummy.

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"It was all these personal touches to the Queen and her life that were most sad, little things that you don’t think about."

Kerri is about to start her tenth cycle of chemotherapy this year and hopes to go to Sandringham, close to where she lives, to pay her respects when she is feeling better.

In the meantime, she plans to frame the letter along with a personal card she received after attending the garden party.

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