Firefighter tells of ‘shock’ at Royal wedding invite

Tony and his daughter Charlotte
Tony and his daughter Charlotte
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Neither US president Donald Trump nor prime minister Theresa May have been invited, but a former Clitheroe man will be rubbing shoulders with the monarchs next month.

For Antony (Tony) Clark (48) has been invited to the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19th.

A former pupil of St James Primary School and Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe, Tony got a royal surprise when he discovered via e-mail that he had been invited to the nuptials of the year.

The on-call watch manager for Humberside Fire and Rescue Service, will be among 1,200 members of the public invited into the grounds of Windsor Castle who have demonstrated strong leadership in their communities.

On discovering he had been nominated by the Lord-Lieutenant of the East Riding of Yorkshire, The Hon. Mrs Susan Cunliffe-Lister and his chief fire officer, Tony said: “I was in complete shock and to be honest thought it was a prank at first! I had to ring a number and confirm my details and that’s when it began to sink in!”

Tony, who is also a fire safety and projects safety, health and environmental advisor for Howdens Joinery, will be accompanied by his 11-year-old daughter, Charlotte, who is really excited.

He said: “It will be a fairytale dream come true for Charlotte. She cannot wait!”

Tony, who also has a 15-year-old son, Oliver, said he will be attending the occasion dressed in his ceremonial uniform, while Charlotte has bought a new dress.”

He said: “I’ve never met any member of the royal family and I am very excited about the wedding.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it will be a memorable day for me and my daughter.

“Unfortunately, Oliver cannot accompany us because he has GCSE examinations, but he is happy for us both.”

Tony was brought up in the Brownlow Street area of Clitheroe.

He moved to East Yorkshire in his late teens after joining the Army.

His dad, Peter, was a firefighter at Clitheroe Fire Station and Tony still has lots of family and friends in the town who he frequently visits.

His proud mum, Iris Yarker, who lives in Clitheroe, said: “Tony is a wonderful son and a very hard working person. I am so very proud of him and delighted that he will be attending the Royal wedding.”

The forthcoming royal nuptials are sure to be a star-studded affair, with the couple boasting a host of high-profile friends.

Around 600 people have been invited to the actual service which takes place at St George’s Chapel.