Prince Harry: beloved by Norfolk

Prince Harry at the Royal Norfolk Show (photo: James Bass)

Prince Harry at the Royal Norfolk Show (photo: James Bass) - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2008

The royal wedding on May 19 will be particularly special for many people in Norfolk who have taken Prince Harry to their hearts

The Princess of Wales (left) at Sandringham with Prince William and Harry and the Princess Royal (ri

The Princess of Wales (left) at Sandringham with Prince William and Harry and the Princess Royal (right) on Christmas Day 1991 (photo: Archant Library) - Credit: Archant Library

The nation will be watching as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, just as we have watched Harry grow up through a precious childhood partly spent in Norfolk.

And as the happy couple prepare to say their vows on Saturday, May 19, it is clear that Norfolk still has a very special place in his heart.

He spent many happy Christmases on the royal estate at Sandringham as a young child and could often be seen accompanying his family to church, out and about exploring the grounds or attending local events – such as the annual pantomime in nearby Hunstanton.

During his teenage years and into young adulthood, his connection to the county developed, with many friends living locally, and he would often attend local events – from the Royal Norfolk Show to charity sporting events. He became an ardent supporter of Stody-based charity Walking with the Wounded, which supports vulnerable veterans to re-integrate back into society through employment. In 2013, he trekked to the South Pole with a team of veterans for one of its expeditions.

Young Royals pretend to drive the fire engine, 4 January 1988 (photo: Archant Library)

Young Royals pretend to drive the fire engine, 4 January 1988 (photo: Archant Library) - Credit: Archant Library

Just last month, it was announced that he will be patron of the charity’s next expedition this summer, when a team will walk 1,000 miles from the west coast to the east coast of America.

For their wedding, he and Meghan have asked people to donate to seven charities rather than send gifts – and one of the seven chosen by the couple is King’s Lynn based charity Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

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Set up by Nikki Scott in 2010, inspired by her own experiences following the death of her husband while serving in Afghanistan, the charity provides vital support to children who have lost a parent while serving in the British Armed Forces.

Some details about the couple’s wedding remain under wraps, but we do know that Harry’s big day will also feature a familiar face from Norfolk.

Members of the Royal Family, January 1988 (photo: Archant Library)

Members of the Royal Family, January 1988 (photo: Archant Library) - Credit: Archant Library

The Dean of Windsor, the Rt Rev David Conner, who will conduct the service at St George’s Chapel, was Bishop of Lynn for many years.

The Queen and members of the Royal Family prepare to brave the elements after the Christmas morning

The Queen and members of the Royal Family prepare to brave the elements after the Christmas morning service at Sandringham, December 1990 (photo: Archant Library) - Credit: Archant Library