Hats off as Betty heads to royal wedding

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She could not quite believe it when she got the news – but Betty’s heading for the wedding of the year.

Lochgilphead woman Betty Rhodick was stunned to be invited to attend next week’s royal wedding – but now that it has sunk in she’s already looking out the hat.

Accompanying 66-year-old Betty to Windsor Castle for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19 will be her granddaughter Kelly.

Betty is a familiar face – and a formidable force – in many different community groups around Lochgilphead.

She said: ‘I’ve been involved in the Christmas lights committee, the poppy collection, Lochgilphead Community Council and other bits and bobs.’

Betty and Kelly are the only two people nominated as wedding guests by the Lord Lieutenant of Argyll and Bute, Patrick Stewart.

Mr Stewart said: ‘There were quite a number of possibilities for nomination, but I chose Betty, and she chose her granddaughter, for nomination.

‘This was on the basis of her substantial contribution to community life in Lochgilphead and surrounding area as well as her extraordinary hard work with her husband in organising Armed Forces Day each year in Lochgilphead.’

‘I thought it was a wind-up at first,’ Betty explained. ‘But I feel very humble and delighted to be asked.’

Kelly, 22, said: ‘It’s really exciting and I am pleased for my granny that she has been invited. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’

The ladies will be among 1,200 members of the public who have been invited to Windsor Castle on the strength of their contribution to their local community. While there, they will be able to watch the arrival of guests, listen to a live broadcast of the wedding service and view the departure of the carriage procession.

Asked what she is most looking forward to, Betty replied: ‘Seeing the wedding up close. We’re allowed into the chapel after it’s over, so we’ll be able to experience it.’

And they are looking out the hats – despite the fact that there is no obligation to wear one. Betty’s view is: ‘You can’t turn up in jeans and a tee-shirt.’

On a more serious note, she added: ‘I’ll be representing all the veterans and Lochgilphead when I go down there.’