Even the late Queen Elizabeth's personal staff are unaware of the contents of the cryptic letter.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 13, 2022. It has since been updated.
Late Queen Elizabeth II wrote a handwritten note to the "residents of Sydney" and it is currently in Australia's most recognizable buildings, but its contents will not be revealed for another 63 years.
The famed Queen Victoria Building in Sydney's core business area houses a time capsule with a letter from the former Monarch and strong instructions not to be opened before 2085. The Queen had written the letter in November 1986 following extensive building repair work.
The letter, which is framed and housed in a glass case in the restricted dome region of the top of the QVB, currently only displays the Queen's orders. The sealed letter has been enclosed in the Queen Victoria Building's vault for about 36 years since the time it was inaugurated in 1898 to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria.
The letter is addressed to "Right and Honourable Lord Mayor of Sydney, Australia," reports Daily Mail. "Greetings. On a suitable day to be selected by you in the year 2085 A.D. would you please open this envelope and convey to the citizens of SYDNEY my message to them," reads the letter reads, signed by the late Queen.
The thing is, even the late Queen Elizabeth's personal staff are unaware of what the contents of the cryptic letter exactly are since they have been kept confidential. Only the Queen's instructions for when to unveil is public knowledge.
Several council studies for refurbishment have been conducted during the history of the Queen Victoria Building, including one in 1959 when the building was almost demolished for parking and public space. A Malaysian business with a 99-year lease later renovated the building, basing their redesign on images they were able to find of the QVB at the time of construction.
King Charles III, who has taken over as head of state since the death of his mother Queen Elizabeth II, since the British Monarch still serves as Australia's head of state. The Queen, who presided as a constitutional monarch, was not involved in the running of the Australian Government on a daily basis. She did, however, perform important ceremonial and symbolic tasks.
The first of the Queen's 16 visits to Australia took place in 1954, just two years after she ascended the throne.
For a woman who led such a public life the Queen has left a tantalising secret here in Australia; a sealed letter personally written by the monarch in 1886 that cannot be opened until 2085. @SophieUpcroft #9News pic.twitter.com/0A9V0gs78T— 9News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) September 11, 2022
In 1954, when the new Queen and Prince Philip arrived in Sydney to start their royal tour, more than half of Sydney's population, or at least one million people, flocked to the city, according to Express UK. Queen Elizabeth, then 27 years old, was the first reigning monarch to set foot in Australia when she arrived at Sydney Airport.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Brian Lawless - WPA Pool