Sylvia Kellner made sure to check her mail everyday toward the end of last year. She was waiting for a response from Kensington Palace, the home of Prince Harry who announced his engagement to Meghan Markle in November.
The lively 83-year-old Xenia beautician, who immigrated from Britain in 1955 and still cuts hair in her kitchen, said she looked for the perfect engagement card to send and settled on a Christmas card that said "God meant you two to be together."
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The reply from Kensington Palace shows it was mailed Dec. 1. Kellner said she received it in early January.
The card features a photo of the Prince and his bride-to-be. On the other side it reads: "Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful Christmas message. His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle send you their warmest thanks with very best wishes for a Happy New Year."
“I thought it would be of interest. A little town like Xenia got a Christmas card from Harry,” Kellner said after reaching out to this news organization. “Everybody I show it to, they’re so thrilled because they know they’ll never see something like it again.”
Between the time she sent her card and received the reply from the royal couple, Kellner had a stay in the hospital.
Kellner said in late November she was cutting her son's hair and felt short of breath. She went to Soin Medical Center and learned her heart valves were blocked. Surgeons performed open heart surgery on her at Kettering Medical Center.
Kellner said the next day she was recovering at home when her phone rang. It was a client and Kellner told “my lady from Huber Heights” to come over and get her hair cut.
"Just wasn't my time," Kellner said. “I’ve been blessed, completely … God has his hands around me all the time.”
This isn’t the first time Kellner has corresponded with British royalty. She once received a letter on behalf of Queen Elizabeth. It was a reply to a laudatory letter she wrote to the Queen, calling her "The most fantastic queen in the world."
Kellner said she and her late husband Russell Kellner, a U.S. Airman whom she met at a dance hall in England after the war, settled in Xenia and raised two sons. Kellner said she and her husband both worked at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. She said she has three grandsons and four great grandchildren.
"I'm proud of both countries, hon,” she said. “You know I'm an American citizen, have been for over 30 years. I love the United States. England fits into Ohio. I don't think people realize that. It's so tiny you can go across Britain in no time. But I adore both places, yes."
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are to be married May 19 in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in England. The event is scheduled to be broadcast live on television.