Belfast Telegraph

Cruel thieves steal mobile from Northern Ireland girl who met royals

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 meeting Meghan and Harry in London
Poppie Hutton meeting Meghan and Harry in London
Claire McNeilly

By Claire McNeilly

The mother of a Northern Ireland schoolgirl who met the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in London said her daughter 'came down to earth with a bang' when her mobile phone containing precious photos was stolen.

Eight-year-old Poppie Hutton's "dreams came true" when she was introduced to both Harry and Meghan on Thursday during Westminster Abbey's Field of Remembrance ceremony which she was attending with her grandparents.

But her 29-year-old mum Stacy told how the young Armagh girl's happiness "came crashing down around her" after she realised that callous pickpockets snatched her phone while she was travelling on the Underground.

Mrs Hutton, a mother-of-three, revealed that both her daughter and her mother Jennifer Baird (48) "broke down in tears in the middle of the tube station" once they realised that the phone was missing.

"It brought them back down to earth with a bang," said Stacy, who was at home in Northern Ireland looking after Poppie's younger sister Heidi (4) and brother Blake (2).

"My mum had Poppie's phone in one pocket and her own phone in the other when they went into the Underground to take the tube but when she came out she realised Poppie's phone was gone. Mum cried and Poppie cried and they were just standing in the middle of the station crying their eyes out.

"Poppie had taken photos of Harry and Meghan and she had lots of other pictures from her trip - on the cable car and a boat across the River Thames. But, thankfully, mummy had taken the pictures of Poppie with Harry and Meghan on her phone so she didn't lose any of those photos and we still have them."

She added: "I was having lunch with my nanny Jean Kerr (81) when we received some photos of Poppie with the Duke and Duchess and we were fighting back tears. We're both so proud!"

After they discovered the phone was gone, Poppie, her granny and grandad Nigel (48) went to security in the tube station. CCTV was checked to no avail. Stacy said that when she called Poppie's mobile company they immediately agreed to block the phone.

"I told Vodafone what had happened and they said they'd send a replacement Sim card so she can keep the same number and I hope I'll manage to retrieve the photos if they've been backed up when she gets a new mobile."

Poppie, who turns nine on November 18 and is due back from London today, is "still in the bubble" according to Stacy, who said her daughter has been comforting her granny who is "completely devastated" about the theft.

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