Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh woman thought registering a royal baby was a one-off honour... now Princess Charlotte has come along she's done it twice

By Colin O'Carroll

A Co Fermanagh woman has officiated at the formal registration of the birth of Princess Charlotte at Kensington Palace.

Alison Cathcart, who is originally from Florencecourt, is the longest-serving registrar at London's Westminster Register Office.

It's the second time she's been on royal baby duty at the palace as she previously officiated at the registration of Prince George when his father Prince William signed his birth certificate in 2013.

She had to go to Kensington Palace then after the prince was excused coming into the office to register the birth, as is normal, to avoid the inevitable media circus.

Ms Cathcart revealed after the experience that she was incredibly nervous and had to redo the certificate after making a mistake, as most are now done by computer and she was writing it by hand.

She said then that Prince William had lovely skin and is "much more handsome in real life than on TV".

Chillingly, she also received death threats over her handwriting at the time.

"One person said their cat had better handwriting, someone called for me to be fired and someone even said I was illiterate."

She also said at the time that it was a "one-off" honour, but that has now been disproved with a repeat visit for Princess Charlotte.

It is something of a tradition for the Westminster Register Office to register royal births.

The baby's father, her grandfather Prince Charles and her great-grandmother the Queen are among the members of the royal family registered through the Westminster Office.

Kensington Palace said in a brief statement yesterday: "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have formally registered the birth of Princess Charlotte.

"The Duke of Cambridge signed the birth register at Kensington Palace this afternoon witnessed by a registrar from Westminster Register Office."

The document gives the date and place of Charlotte's birth and her full name as Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge.

On the birth register, the Cambridges gave their occupations as Prince and Princess of the United Kingdom - just as they did when registering the birth of Prince George.

Ms Cathcart, a former Enniskillen Collegiate Grammar School pupil, has worked at the Westminster office for almost 25 years.

She says she loves her work and has also presided at a number of high-profile and celebrity weddings, including that of Sir Paul McCartney in 2011.

Previous celebrity weddings included the most recent marriage of Joan Collins, while Liam Gallagher has visited the office twice to get hitched.

She also officiated at the wedding of Sylvester Stallone.

"I couldn't be happier in my job. For me, nothing beats the feeling you get when you declare a couple married and you see the look on their faces, knowing you have been part of a life-changing moment."

She still has family in Northern Ireland and likes to return to Co Fermanagh once a year, as her husband Mark is a keen golfer.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph