A schoolgirl has been invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in recognition of charity work in memory of her brother.
Lily Hey, 11, and her family from Nairn have raised tens of thousands of pounds for cancer and children’s charities since the death of eight-year-old Hamish from cancer last year.
She has received an invite to the wedding day on May 19 along with her grandmother Liz Bow, 68, after being nominated by the Lord-Lieutenant for Nairnshire.
They will be among 1,200 members of the public invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle to watch the arrivals of the bride and groom and their guests at St George’s Chapel, and see the newlyweds start their carriage procession through Windsor.
The royal invitation is particularly poignant as last year Mrs Hey announced she had been diagnosed with secondary, incurable, breast cancer following earlier treatment for the disease.
Speaking of the invitation, she said: “It’s so lovely and it’s just so deserved, both for Lily and my mum.
“Lily is so excited. When the invitation came… it was so unbelievable that she took a wee while to register exactly what it meant.
“It’s very special and very much an honour but certainly for Lily it’s very deserved she’s had an awful lot to deal with and still has an awful lot to deal with.
“She’s been through more in her little life than most adults would ever go through in a lifetime. Equally her age is lovely for this because she is old enough to understand and to really enjoy and remember everything about this.”
Hamish was just two-years-old when he was diagnosed with metastatic alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive soft tissue cancer.
After years of treatment in 2016, at the age of seven, he was found to have an unrelated aggressive, inoperable tumour within his brainstem.
Mrs Hey said: “At the end of the day clearly we are still and always will be devastated and brokenhearted by what’s happened and nothing will repair that.
“But at least we feel that out of something horrific we are hopefully managing to achieve something incredibly positive.
“Everywhere you go, mention Hamish and people know who we’re talking about and his little face pops up all over the town and people very fondly talk about him still and I think always will.
“He only had eight years but in those eight years he’s had a huge impact. Not many of us can say that of our lives can we so I’m very proud of that aspect.
“Obviously I’d do anything to have him here and not be doing any of this but equally, bless him, he’s made a huge impact.
“We think what we’re doing is going to be something to put Nairn back on the map and something which will give back to the community for years of support to us as a family.”