A Manchester attack survivor, a former soldier who lost his leg during an IED incident in Afghanistan and a couple looking to open a community arts venue in north-west England are among the members of the public invited to the royal wedding.
British Prime Minister Theresa May and former US President Barack Obama may not be invited to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding but 1,200 members of the public are.
On Tuesday, Kensington Palace issued a statement saying that Prince Charles’ youngest son and his fiancée asked the Lord Lieutenants to invite 1,200 people who “have shown strong leadership, and those who have served their communities.”
Euronews spoke to some of them.
Adam Hughes and Kimberly Watkin will attend the royal wedding because of their community work with Carlisle Undercroft — a charity Watkin started that seeks to open a community arts venue under the Carlisle train station in north-west England.
Watkin said the news of the invitation to the royal wedding came as a shock: “I was on the train when I got a call from a guy called Andy Beeforth who works with the Cumbria Community Foundation who said to me: ‘Keep May 19th free, that’s the day Harry and Meghan get married.’ But I thought it was a practical joke and then I got a letter in the post.”
The couple said they haven’t been given too much information on the logistics of the day, but they are already thinking about what they’re going to wear.
“It’s hard to know what’s royal appropriate,” said Hughes.
“But we like Ted Baker clothing, so we’re going to try and get some with a bit of matching,” added Watkin.
The 23-year-old has started posting pictures of some hat options on Facebook because she wants her “community to be involved” in what they’ll be wearing.
Also invited is 30-year-old Phillip Gillespie, a former soldier from Northern Ireland who lost his right leg in an IED accident in Afghanistan. Now Gillespie works to raise funds with ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.
“It’s a real privilege to be invited to the wedding… there’s hundreds if not thousands of people in Northern Ireland that could’ve been picked to go across and I was the privileged one that gets to go.”
Manchester bombing attack survivor Amelia Thompson was also invited for her work in fundraising for those affected by the attack.
“I was speechless when I first found out, I didn’t even know I had been nominated,” the 12-year-old told Euronews.
Thompson asked her mother to forfeit her plus one ticket so that she could invite Sharon Goodman, who lost her 15-year-old granddaughter Olivia Campbell-Hardy in the attack.
“She’s [Goodman] is finding it hard after losing Olivia, she’s just struggling, so I just wanted to put a smile on her face.”
Lisa Newton, Thompson’s mother, said the two of them want to take something down to the wedding to represent the 22 people who died in the Manchester bombing attack.
The royal wedding will take place on May 19.