A statement from Kensington Palace explained that the couple particularly wanted to recognize young people who have served their communities and shown strong leadership. So, they asked Lord Lieutenants around the UK to invite 1,200 people to join the celebrations inside the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Amongst those to receive a sought-after invitation is 17-year-old Daniella Timperley from County Antrim in Northern Ireland. The schoolgirl has volunteered for Women's Aid—a charity which works to end domestic abuse against women and children—for the last four years and in March, she was given the all-Ireland youth volunteer of the year title at the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. She tells Cosmopolitan UK what it feels like to be invited to the wedding of the year and what it means to be recognised for her charity work below.
"I started working with Women’s Aid when I was 14. Women's Aid Voices is five minutes away from my school, St Louis Grammar in Ballymena. I go there after school every Wednesday to help co-ordinate fundraising efforts, like bucket collections or big breakfasts. Since working with the charity, I have completed accreditations in mental health, domestic violence, understanding risks and self-esteem, and I have helped to produce two films to help raise awareness of domestic violence. I also represent Women's Aid on the Children in Need Youth Panel. I use this platform to voice the needs of the charity and bring other volunteers together to get ideas for fundraising.
"Earlier this year, I given the Top Youth Volunteer of the Year Award at the Pramerica Spirit of Community awards ceremony in Dublin. I was given 1,000 Euro to donate to a charity of my choice and a trip to Washington D.C., where award winners from around the world will get together in April."
The wedding invite was a total surprise
"I had absolutely no idea I was going to be invited to the royal wedding. I was so shocked. My school found out before me and they were going to wait until I got my invite, but they couldn’t keep it to themselves. They broke the news to me a week before the invites were sent out. I didn’t really believe it first.
"Last week, the invite arrived in the post. The envelope was sealed with a stamp from the Lord Lieutenant's office. Opening it was very, very surreal. My name was handwritten on the invite and there was a letter giving me information on what I’ll be doing there and confirming that I’ll be attending. 'As a group of 1000 members of public, you have been nominated on the strength of contribution to the local community,' it read. I'll be able to watch the carriage procession from the grounds of the castle, although the ceremony inside the chapel is just for Harry and Meghan's friends and family. I should be receiving an admission card and further details about the day from the Royal Household by the end of the month."
I can take one guest
"I'm allowed to bring one person with me, so I'll be bringing my mum along because I'm under 18. We're going to travel to Windsor the day before the wedding and stay with some friends who live near by. We'll make a weekend of it."
I'll be buying a new outfit
"I've got no idea what I'm going to wear, I really need to start thinking about it. I want to wear a really nice dress, I'll probably go for a pink style. I definitely want to wear a headpiece—something to make me stand out."
To be recognised in this way is so special
"I didn't expect to be recognized for my voluntary work—that isn't the reason I got involved with it, but this is so, so special. I only started at my school last September, and the way that my teachers have acknowledged and supported my charity work is so lovely. I'm really appreciative of it as my school has played a big part in getting me noticed. School were really shocked about the invite as well. They will probably make me say something in assembly after the wedding."
I can't wait to see the bride up close
"I watched Meghan on Suits, so I’m quite a big fan. I've never seen royalty before. I’m really look forward to seeing her with Harry on the wedding day."