Herefordshire NFU members Royal wedding invite shock (from National Farmers Union, UK)
19 Apr 2011A Herefordshire farming couple have spoken of their complete shock after receiving an invite out of the blue to attend the Royal wedding.
NFU members Phil and Heather Gorringe who live and work at Lower Blakemere Farm, which is part of the Duchy of Cornwall, will be at Westminster Abbey on April 29 for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding.
Other guests include the King of Jordan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Sultan of Oman, the King of Bahrain, the Emperor of Japan, the Sultan of Brunei and the King of Saudi Arabia.
Around 1,900 people will attend the Westminster Abbey ceremony which will be broadcast worldwide.
Mrs Gorringe, managing director of the natural gardening company Wiggly Wigglers which is based at the farm, said she initially thought the invitation was a wind up and could not believe they had been asked.
She said: “When I opened the post it was a complete shocker, a real bolt out of the blue.
“I had to have a sit down and just take a real look at it again and again.
“When I phoned Phil I was just whooping and hollering because it was such brilliant news.
“The Royals never seem to forget where their food comes from and how important farming is.
“The industry is something very close to Prince Charles’ heart so our invite must be connected to that, because we are his tenants.
“To think we are going is just unbelievable.”
Mr and Mrs Gorringe will travel to London next week and stay in the Farmers’ Club, in Whitehall Court, ahead of the ceremony.
The couple have met Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry before and last year Heather also met the Queen.
Heather has already bought a black and white designer dress from an independent business, in Hereford, and said she hoped it would be fit for the grand occasion.
Mr Gorringe said it was a great honour and privilege to be invited although it was still “a bit surreal”.
He added that a tenant farmer from west Herefordshire being invited to the future King of England’s wedding was quite a lot to take in.