XENIA — When Sylvia Kellner opened her mail a few weeks ago she received a royal thank you.
The note, which arrived in an envelope marked with the Queen’s ER II stamp, came from Prince Harry.
Yes, that Prince Harry, aka Prince Henry of Wales, son of Prince Charles and the late-Princess Diana. Kellner, who was born in England, sent the Prince and his fiance, American actress Meghan Markle, a Christmas message and the soon-to-be royal couple — they will wed in May — sent her a note back.
“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.” It also included a photo of the couple.
“I was thrilled,” Kellner said. “They are so genuine. Plain genuine. I think they’ll do a lot for our royal family.”
It’s not the first time Kellner, a well-known hair dresser who trained at the Liverpool College of Art — where former Beatle Paul McCartney studied — has corresponded with the royal family.
“I’ve got letters from the queen,” she said. “I send engagement cards. I love the royal family.”
Her relatives also have some ties to the royal family. An aunt arranged flowers for Prince Phillip and Princess Margaret. And while not part of the royal family, an aunt lived next to McCartney, and Kellner — known far and wide as Lady Ashley (her maiden name) — would pick leaves off McCartney’s bushes and save them via lamination.
“I’m just blessed to be able to say I have those things,” Kellner said of all her keepsakes.
Kellner met her husband, Russell, while he was in the U.S. Air Force. They were stationed in nearby Wilmington and lived above a beauty shop, whose owner helped Kellner obtain her state license to be a beautician. They later settled in Xenia.
“Everybody said ‘Oh, I wouldn’t live in Xenia,’ but it’s been good to me,” she said. “I’m proud to be an American citizen and be from England as well. I’m proud of them, hon. People are good to me darling. I mean good.”
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.