Last month we told you all that our Senior Youth Worker, Jackie Long was one of 2,640 people from around the country invited to the Royal Wedding of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Jackie was nominated by The Lord Lieutenant, her Grace of Northumberland for her outstanding contribution to youth work in the community.
After receiving her invite Jackie invited her friend Linda along as her guest and all of the young people were very excited and even threw a Royal party at Silx the night before Jackie went.
Jackie and Linda flew from Newcastle to Heathrow on Friday 18th and stayed overnight at the Park Inn, Raddison Hotel. When they arrived they met a Youth Worker from Slough in a local restaurant and chatted to her all about the importance of Youth Work and she was thrilled to hear that the Royals were recognising the work and commitment of a youth worker.
There was an early start on the morning of the wedding, they were up at 5am to get ready and have breakfast ready for their 7am pick up from a local taxi firm that they had booked in advance as they knew that Windsor and the surrounding areas would be very busy! The taxi came and picked them up and really looked after them and even took them on a mini tour past Eton college where both Prince William and Harry went to school.
The ladies did encounter a little bit of a panic on their journey to the castle as Linda had forgotten her invite however, Jackie kept calm as she didn’t want to spoil the day and spoke to one of the Stewards directing the crowd and all was sorted out. The Stewards were fantastic and couldn’t do enough to help everyone, Jackie said the whole event was incredibly well organised, the staff were fab and the day ran like clockwork.
Once inside the grounds the ladies received their wristbands and a goodie bag and got themselves a great spot near to where all of the celebrity and Royal guests were to be dropped off.
They watched Harry and William arrive, William was smiling and waving to the crowds and Harry was taking it all in and looked incredibly nervous. Other Royals they saw included Princess Ann, a very pregnant Zara Phillips with her rugby player husband Mike Tindall. Jackie said Edward and Sophie; The Earl and Countess of Wessex came and spoke to the crowd and told them all to have a nice day and Sarah Ferguson was very nice laughing and joking with everyone.
They saw lots of Celebrity guests arrive including James Cordon, Serena Williams, Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, James Blunt; who sang along with a member of the crowd who decided to serenade him with his song ‘Your Beautiful’ which Jackie said was very funny. David and Victoria Beckham were very popular with the crowd with one lady getting very excited that David came over and hugged her and allowed her to take selfies which him, Victoria actually smiled too! George Clooney was Jackie’s personal highlight and he even waved and smiled to her which she caught perfectly on camera!
The crowd saw Meghan arrive, although it was difficult to see her from where they were she still looked amazing and incredibly beautiful and once the bridal party had made their way into the chapel the crowd were able to listen to the ceremony from outside and then watch the newly married couple kiss on the steps of Windsor Castle and leave for their carriage procession.
After the wedding Jackie, Linda and all the other people that had been invited were able to then go into the Chapel to see where the wedding had taken place, Jackie thought the flowers looked incredible and said the smell walking through the floral arch of flowers which Harry had picked as a tribute to his late Mother Diana was beautiful.
Jackie said of the day that she didn’t know what to expect but it was so nice to meet and mingle with lots of wonderful people from all over Britain whose work and achievements were inspiring. Overall, the day was nice and relaxed and everyone was in such good spirits and it was an amazing day she will never forget.