A DORSET man has been lucky enough to receive probably the most sought after wedding invitation of the year.
Major-General Jonathan Hall has a coveted spot in Westminster Abbey on April 29 to watch Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot.
While most of the country will have to be content with watching the service on television, Maj-Gen Hall will have a close-up view of the happy couple.
He will be attending The Queen as a member of Her Majesty’s Body Guard of Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms.
He said: “We do all the royal occasions and so we are lucky enough and privileged enough to be involved with the Royal wedding. I’m very lucky to be able to witness such a happy and wonderful occasion.”
Wearing a scarlet coloured jacket, a hat with swan’s feathers, and carrying a ceremonial battle-axe, Maj-Gen Hall and the other Body Guards will march on ahead of the arrival of the Queen and the bride.
But he will not be fortunate enough to get a front row seat – or any seat for that matter – and will not be attending the reception at Buckingham Palace.
“I will probably be in a back aisle and I will have to stand the whole time,” he said.
HM Body Guards attend the Sovereign at all state occasions, such as arrivals of Heads of State.
Maj-Gen Hall, of Nether Compton, near Sherborne, said: “I don't get nervous, just enjoy it as a privilege being part of it. I get a thrill every time I do it.”
He is eligible to be a Gentleman at Arms because of he served in the British Army and had regular service, including in Germany, the Far East, and Northern Ireland.
Among Maj-Gen Hall’s major past engagements with the Corps are the funeral of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee.