May 30, 2007 / 11:46 AM / 10 years ago

Boy's balloon finds pen-pal: Britain's Queen

<p>Queen Elizabeth greets employees outside the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center visitor's center in Greenbelt, Maryland, May 8, 2007. A 4-year-old boy who released a balloon with a message hoping to find a pen pal in a foreign land ended up having a correspondence with the Queen.Molly Riley</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - A 4-year-old British boy who released a balloon with a message hoping to find a pen pal in a foreign land ended up having a correspondence with the Queen.

Tom Stancombe let go of his helium balloon in Hampshire, west of London, but rather than flying across to France or half way around the world, it ended up just 20 miles away, landing inside Windsor Castle, the Daily Mail reported.

The Queen instructed her personal assistant to reply and so the monarch and the boy, helped by his parents, exchanged a series of letters, mostly about the fact that one of the boy's ancestors, an artist, had works in the royal art collection.

"She (the Queen) was delighted to find that your balloon had traveled all the way to the gardens at Windsor Castle," the monarch's assistant wrote.

Asked if he thought his son would be exchanging any more letters with the Queen, Tom's father said: "I don't expect we'll get another one, but I think it's incredible they bothered replying at all."

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