Throughout her long life, Queen Elizabeth II had an impact on a great number of people, including a woman located tens of thousands of miles away who shared her birthday.

Adele Hankey, now 96 years old and residing in Park River, North Dakota, shared the same birthday as the queen, on April 21, 1926. This connection served as the foundation for their improbable relationship when they started exchanging letters with one another. After Hankey congratulated Elizabeth II on her coronation in 1953 by writing her a letter, the monarch responded by sending Hankey a birthday card. This marked the beginning of their ongoing correspondence.

“I could have jumped out of my shoes,” Hankey told KFYR, an NBC and FOX-affiliated station in Bismarck, North Dakota.

This led to the beginning of a relationship between the two people, during which they would send one another handwritten birthday letters. Hankey would write to her, and she would always send him a note in response.

According to Hankey, who was never able to meet the queen in person, she always made it a point to write clearly.

“We had a teacher in school that said make your Ls long and your Es little,” she said.

And because she had Queen Elizabeth’s ear, or more accurately, her eye, Hankey made an attempt to acquire one of the iconic accessories that the queen wears.

As a result of Hankey’s interest in cooking, the two individuals shared a connection that went beyond the fact that they shared a birthday.

“The recipes that the queen liked were with marmalade and so do I. How about that?” she said.

It is unknown to Hankey how many letters she sent to the queen, but she has expressed that she will miss the two of them keeping in touch in written form.

“Oh, absolutely. You miss your pen pals,” she said.