Belfast Telegraph

Co Tyrone community leader among those selected to attend Royal wedding

By Cate McCurry

The co-chair of a top Co Tyrone horticultural group has spoken of her shock at being invited to the be among the guests at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle next month.

Bernie McKenna was in her local hairdressers when she received an email saying she had been selected to attend the Royal wedding.

The green-fingered woman was chosen for her work with Castlecaulfield Horticultural Society, a group that has experienced local and international success after it was recognised at last year’s Communities in Bloom competition in Canada.

The village has previously picked awards for the Ulster in Bloom and Britain in Bloom titles.

The group, which has around 40 members, is co-chaired by Bernie and Bob McClure and includes friends from both sides of the community.

She will be among a crowd of 1,200 community leaders and young people who have shown strong leadership who will watch the arrivals of the bride and groom and their guests as they enter and leave Windsor Castle.

She will be accompanied by her husband Eugene to watch the proceedings from the exclusive spot.  

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Bernie said: “I had no idea this was going to happen.

“I was in the hairdressers with no glasses on when I got the email, so it was a bit of a pandemonium. I couldn’t believe it so I rang Eugene (husband) and he couldn’t believe it either,” she said.

“It never occurred to me that our CHS group would be invited.

“Whilst I’m invited I’ll be representing Castlecaulfield Horticultural Society - it’s lovely that the Lord Lieutenant of Tyrone (who nominated Bernie) felt that one of us would like to go and it was nice of him to put me forward.

“We were at a garden party in Buckingham Palace last year but this is something completely different and I never thought I would get to see it all happen in person.

“The wedding is on Saturday (May 19) and the Chelsea Flower show starts on the Monday so we will go to it while we are in London.

“I presume I’ll have to wear a hat to the wedding and I’m sure I can rustle up an outfit.”

She continued: “The CHS is a group of friends from both sides of the community who have got together and through flowers, through bloom and the horticultural show, we are putting Castlecaulfield on the map.”

In a statement on their Facebook page, Castlecaulfield Horticultural Society said: “Congratulations to our co-chair Bernie McKenna in recognition of her outstanding volunteering work in the community, will represent CHS and attend the Royal Wedding celebrations at Windsor Castle in May.

“Once again volunteering work carried out by CHS has been recognised at the highest level.

“Bernie 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.”

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