Belfast Telegraph

Armagh girl Poppie gets birthday hug from Meghan at London remembrance ceremony

Armagh girl shocked to meet Harry and Meghan

Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance
Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance

By Christopher Leebody

A young girl had a "day she will never forget" after meeting the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at a Westminster Abbey remembrance ceremony.

Eight-year-old Poppie Hutton from Armagh got the surprise of her life while visiting the Abbey's Field of Remembrance with her grandparents, Nigel and Jennifer, who were attending a cross laying ceremony.

Grandmother Jennifer said the family had been waiting on the path alongside others during the ceremony, when the regimental secretary for the Royal Irish Regiment called Harry and Meghan over to Poppie.

She said: "We come to London every year, Nigel and I. We thought Poppie would love it. We went to the commemoration garden last year and Prince Harry stopped to talk to people, so we knew there was a chance. I didn't tell Poppie he would be here so it would be a surprise.

"The secretary of the Royal Irish Regiment told Harry it was Poppie's birthday soon, so he came over. He joked, 'I won't sing Happy Birthday because I can't sing, but maybe later'.

"Then Meghan followed Harry. She said 'Happy Birthday' and gave her a hug. You know when you are there and it all happens, it's a blur".

Explaining that Poppie "actually pinched herself" afterwards to make sure it was all real, Jennifer said her granddaughter, who turns nine on November 18 was "over the moon" and "elated that Harry spent so much time talking to her".

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Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance

Granddad Nigel previously served with the Royal Irish Regiment. He said the occasion is normally "a time to reflect on all those who we served with who laid down their lives", but said that having Poppie over this time made it the "trip of a lifetime".

He added: "I was amazed that Harry took the time out from his normal duties and that he spent so much time with a little girl, especially with so many other people waiting.

"She is just on cloud nine. She is just excited beyond belief and telling everyone that she meets. It's almost like Christmas for her."

While the excitement was happening in London, Poppie's mum Stacy (29) was back home in Northern Ireland looking after her younger brother and sister.

However, Stacy said she was "so proud" and "fighting back the tears - happy tears", while explaining that it was a relief that Poppie even made it over to the event, having been in and out of hospital recently.

As for the apparent coincidence regarding Poppie's name, mum Stacy recalled the story behind the choice.

She explained: "I always liked the name Poppie, but because she is born in November and she was due around Remembrance Day, that's why we called her Poppie."

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Poppie Hutton meets Harry and Meghan in the Westminster Field of Remembrance

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