THREE PEOPLE in Northern Ireland have received personal invites to the upcoming royal wedding.
A mother and daughter from Derry and a former soldier from Ballymena were shocked to find that they will be among guests at the special day of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle which takes place next month.
Julie-Ann Coll and her mother Catherine Cook received separate invites around 90 minutes apart.
Mrs Cooke was chosen to attend for her work with Foyle Women’s Information Network, which provides opportunities for women’s groups to meet from across the county and discuss various issues, said she was “very excited and very honoured”.
Her husband will be on a stag do in Krakow that weekend and can’t attend the wedding, so Mrs Cooke’s daughter will attend instead.
Mrs Coll was nominated to attend for her work with child bereavement support group, Life After Loss, having lost her son Mark in 2004.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, she said: “I’m just over the moon but I can’t picture myself being there to be honest. I’m just so excited.”
She also joked that her mother-in-law Marcia Coll, who will be accompanying her on the day “is probably online shopping as we speak”.
Ex Royal Irish Regiment soldier Phillip Gillespie lost his right leg in Afghanistan in 2011 and is eagerly awaiting news as to whether he has made the rowing and archery teams for the next Invictus Games – a brainchild of Prince Harry.
The 30-year-old will be joined at the wedding by his girlfriend Kirsty Crawford and said the invite is “a massive privilege, it will be a huge spectacle”.