The Queen Needs Someone to Write Letters for Her

Brian Lawless, WPA Pool/Getty Images
Brian Lawless, WPA Pool/Getty Images

Between hosting world leaders, supporting charities, and adding to her colorful hat collection, Queen Elizabeth II is a busy woman. She receives thousands of letters each year—about 200 to 300 a day, according to some estimates—and could use a little help answering all of them.

That’s where the royal letter writer comes in. Buckingham Palace is looking for a “correspondence officer” who will be tasked with “drafting a letter that someone will never forget,” according to the job listing. The officer would be responsible for answering each and every letter and answering the public’s queries, whether they be political or social in nature, or something altogether “unique.”

This individual would work out of the Private Secretary’s Office, which also handles the Queen’s speeches, receives official presents, and arranges domestic and overseas programs. The salary is £24,000 (about $32,100), making it an ideal job for someone early in their career. Applicants must have some administrative experience, excellent writing skills, and must be a British citizen or have the right to work legally in the UK.

Although the Queen’s Ladies-in-Waiting respond to most letters from the public, the Queen occasionally answers some personally. In 2012, she wrote a letter to Andrew Simes, the grandson of a man who had sent her a Christmas card every year from 1952 up until his death in 2011. She wrote, "When I received a letter from a different Simes this Christmas, I instructed my office to research your grandfather's whereabouts. Therefore it is with much sadness, I have learned of his passing and extend my condolences to you and your family."

If penning letters on behalf of the Queen sounds like your dream job, you’d better act fast—the deadline for submissions is June 13. Online applications can be submitted here, and other openings (including pastry chef, housekeeping assistant, and administrator of “royal bindery,” or bookbinding operations at Windsor Castle) can be viewed here.

14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Lost Your Wedding Ring? A Global Network of Metal Detectorists Can Help You Find It

 Kseniia Ilinykh, Unsplash
Kseniia Ilinykh, Unsplash

On Friday, October 9, actor Jon Cryer found himself in a scenario many married people dread: He dropped his wedding band outside at night and couldn't find it. Instead of giving up, the Two and a Half Men star reached out to professional jewelry hunter Chris Turner. The pair met up at the spot where Cryer lost the ring that Sunday, and within minutes, Turner had located the missing item using nothing but a metal detector.

"He leans down and grips a wad of grass from the ground. As he pulls a few stray blades from the clump he asks: 'Is this what your ring looks like?'" Cryer recalled in a Twitter thread, "I stammer out 'Are you serious?!?'"

As CTV News reports, Turner belongs to a group of metal detectorists known as The Ring Finders. He developed an interest in hunting for lost jewelry as a teenager, when a neighbor asked for his help finding a wedding ring that had been missing for a decade. Using his new metal detector, he was able to find it for her. In the 50 years since, Turner has used his skills to recover hundreds of items.

Turner's contributions to metal detecting aren't limited to his personal missions. Twenty-five years ago, he founded The Ring Finders, a network of metal detectorists spanning 22 countries. If you've misplaced your ring or other metal valuable, you can use the organization's online directory to locate a Ring Finder near you. For a fee—often it's pay-what-you-can, but each member is different—The Ring Finder specialist will meet you with a metal detector in hand to search for your item.

Cryer is just the latest client the group has helped. To date, The Ring Finders have completed more than 7300 successful recoveries. Most customers are ordinary people turning to the service as a last resort. "People like you are what makes the world go round. I was a complete wreck because I thought I had next to no chance of finding my beloved ring," one client wrote in an online testimonial. "From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU SO MUCH for saving the day."

[h/t CTV News]