Wednesday 15 August 2018

They're on the list! The Irish guests attending the British royal wedding

Britain's Prince Harry and his US bride-to-be Meghan Markle will tie the knot this afternoon

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

Kirsty Blake Knox in Windsor

The security is tight, the excitement building and the guest list exclusive. 

But some lucky Irish people have managed to snag a ticket for the Royal Wedding 2.0.

Irish hotelier John Fitzpatrick will dust off his suit tails, and make his way to Windsor Castle today to watch Meghan Markle and Britain's Prince Harry’s exchange vows. Fitzpatrick has been personally invited by Ms Markle to attend the lavish ceremony, and will join the 800 strong royal guest list alongside singer Elton John, Priyanka Chopra, and Victoria and David Beckham.  

Fitzpatrick was first introduced to Markle by golfing champion Rory McIlroy - who nominated Markle to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014.

Britain's Prince Harry greets wellwishers outside Windsor Castle ahead of his wedding to Meghan Markle tomorrow, in Windsor, Britain, May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Britain's Prince Harry greets wellwishers outside Windsor Castle ahead of his wedding to Meghan Markle tomorrow, in Windsor, Britain, May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Members of the armed forces during a parade rehearsal in Windsor, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Members of the armed forces head towards Windsor Castle, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Since then he has remained in contact with Meghan, and she often stays at his hotel in Manhattan.

Read more: Bride-to-be Meghan Markle feeling 'wonderful' as she arrives at wedding night hotel with mother Doria

Fitzpatrick flew into London yesterday, and is staying in the same hotel as Markle’s Suits co-stars including Sarah Rafferty, and Rick Hoffman.

“I have known Meghan for a while, and I am very happy to be heading over,” Fitzpatrick said. "I was flattered when I got the invite."

On and off the catwalk, Victoria Beckham has been the biggest champion of the power polo. Photo: Gotham/GC Images
On and off the catwalk, Victoria Beckham has been the biggest champion of the power polo. Photo: Gotham/GC Images

Guests must adhere to a strict royal rules; men must wear dress uniform, consisting of a morning coat or lounge suit, while women are asked to wear a day dress and a hat.

Phones are also prohibited, and guests are not allowed approach the Queen.

Fitzpatrick is not the only Irish attendee at the wedding.

Several Irish charity and community workers are among the 1,200 members of the public who will bypass the crowds and settle inside the grounds of Windsor Castle.

School girl Daniella Timerpley, was nominated by Belfast’s Lord Lieutenant offices to attend the wedding.

Related: Angelina Jolie spotted in London as speculation arises about which celebrities will attend the British royal wedding

RETRANSMITTING CORRECTING FIRST NAME FROM PHILIP TO PHILLIP
Phillip Gillespie from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, has received an invitation to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle next month. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 10, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Michael Cooper/PA Wire
RETRANSMITTING CORRECTING FIRST NAME FROM PHILIP TO PHILLIP Phillip Gillespie from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, has received an invitation to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle next month. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 10, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Michael Cooper/PA Wire

This year, Daniella (18) was named Youth Volunteer of the Year at Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, having raised funds for Women’s Aid ABCLN.

“It was very surreal,” she said. “I don’t think any of my class mates believed me at first.”Daniella, who attends St Louis Grammar school in Ballymena, is bringing her mother Marie as her plus one.

“Although every member of my family wanted to go,” she said.“I can't wait to see the dress, and to go to such a historic event. There won’t be another Royal Wedding in a good while.”

Another Irish guest is Phillip ‘Barney’ Gillespie (32) from Ballymena. Barney joined The Royal Irish Regiment in 2004.He deployed on tours of Afghanistan in 2006, in 2008 and in 2010.

Four months into his final tour, Barney stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) whilst out on a patrol. As a result of the explosion he lost his right leg.

Catherine Cooke and her daughter Julie-Ann Coll (left) from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, who have received an invitation to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle next month. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 10, 2018. Catherine is a co-ordinator at the Foyle's Women's Information Network and Julie-Ann runs a support group that helps parents cope with child bereavement. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Michael Cooper/PA Wire
Catherine Cooke and her daughter Julie-Ann Coll (left) from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, who have received an invitation to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle next month. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday April 10, 2018. Catherine is a co-ordinator at the Foyle's Women's Information Network and Julie-Ann runs a support group that helps parents cope with child bereavement. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Michael Cooper/PA Wire

Barney is now an adventure instructor and also extensively works with The Soldiers’ Charity, who he says were massively important in helping him on his road to recovery.

Related: Katie Byrne on how to watch the British royal wedding

“I got the letter through the door - it had the fancy royal seal on it so I knew straight away it was important,” he said. “I would have been watching the wedding on TV if I wasn’t going so I am delighted to be part of it.”

Prince Harry meets well-wishers outside Windsor Castle
Prince Harry meets well-wishers outside Windsor Castle
Meghan Markle arrives with her mother, Doria Ragland, to have tea with the queen
Britain's Prince Harry greets wellwishers outside Windsor Castle ahead of his wedding to Meghan Markle tomorrow, in Windsor, Britain, May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Britain's Prince William greets wellwishers outside Windsor Castle ahead of Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle tomorrow, in Windsor, Britain, May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Britain's Princes Harry and William greet wellwishers outside Windsor Castle ahead of Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle tomorrow, in Windsor, Britain, May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Britain's Prince Harry greets wellwishers outside Windsor Castle ahead of his wedding to Meghan Markle tomorrow, in Windsor, Britain, May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Meghan Markle and her mother, Doria Ragland, arriving at Cliveden House Hotel on the National Trust's Cliveden Estate to spend the night before her wedding to Prince Harry. Steve Parsons/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prince Harry greets wellwishers outside Windsor Castle ahead of his wedding to Meghan Markle tomorrow, in Windsor, Britain, May 18, 2018. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Prince Harry and Ms Markle (Victoria Jones/PA)
Royal Wedding preparations
Which celebrities will be attending the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle? (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry after the announcement of their engagement last November
Adding the sparkle: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during a visit to Titanic Belfast in March
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are due to marry on May 19 (Victoria Jones/PA)
Members of the armed forces during a parade rehearsal in Windsor, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Members of the armed forces during a parade rehearsal in Windsor, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Members of the armed forces during a parade rehearsal in Windsor, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Members of the armed forces head towards Windsor Castle, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Members of the armed forces head towards Windsor Castle, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire
Royal fans wait to watch members of the armed forces in a parade rehearsal in Windsor, Berkshire ahead of the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle this weekend. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday May 17, 2018. See PA story ROYAL Wedding. Photo credit should read: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire

Barney is bringing his girlfriend Kirsty, and has been busy prepping – getting suited and booted.

“I got a three piece suit a couple of weeks ago for a friend's wedding - so I'm going to re-use it," he said.

The couple will arrive at Windsor Castle at 9am, along with the other 1,200 members of the public invited.

They will watch the wedding while sitting on a lawn outside Saint George's Chapel, and will leave the ground after the wedding around 2pm.

The palace has advised all the members of the public attending to bring a picnic basket in case they get peckish during the day.

“We’ll have some Prosecco and some sandwiches - nothing too fancy," Barney says."I’m really looking forward to chatting to some of the other people there and hearing how they got the invite.”

Barney is unsure if he will get to shake Harry’s hand after the couple exchange their ‘I Dos’,  but their paths may cross later this year when Barney competes in the Invictus Games in Sydney in the fields of archery and rowing.

It’s very much a family affair for Catherine Cooke.

The Derry woman (53) and her daughter Julie-Ann Coll both received invites for their dedication to the charities they work for. Catherine has been working for Foyle Women’s Information Network for 14 years.

Her husband, who will be on a stag do in Krakow that weekend, was "devastated" that he cannot attend. So she will take another daughter Stephanie instead.

Mrs Coll (35) was nominated to attend for her work with child bereavement support group Life After Loss, having lost her son Mark in 2004 at 22 weeks old. She will be accompanied by her mother-in-law Marcia Coll.To mark the occasion, Catherine Cooke got a dress and hat specially made by Fashion and Textile Design Centre in Derry.

The dress was made within a three week window, and is decorated with a city-scape of Derry includes Derry's walls and the Guildhall.

“I couldn’t believe myself and Julie-Ann were both invited - it’s a real family day out for us,” Catherine said.

Over 100,000 people from around the world are in Berkshire for the wedding, and there are predictions that even more people will watch Meghan and Harry’s wedding than Britain’s Prince William and Kate’s wedding in 2011.

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