Coffs kid gets royally close
Son of tennis player meets Prince Harry
A YOUNG Coffs Harbour boy has become one of the first people to meet Prince Harry and his new lover Meghan Markle.
With cameras flashing and the world’s media watching their every move, the couple held hands as they made their first official appearance together at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
The “in love” pair took a seat next to 10-year-old Bailey Lawler at the semi-finals of the Wheelchair Tennis and Suits star Ms Markle introduced herself and shook his hand.
It was a moment that propelled the Coffs boy into international spotlight.
Bailey was in Canada to watch his father Sean Lawler compete in wheelchair tennis but his mother admitted they missed most of the match chatting with the royal.
Starstruck mum Kylie Lawler said the couple were very relaxed and took to time to chat to her and Bailey.
“She was excited to be here and lovely,” she told British media.
“They seemed really relaxed as a couple.
“I missed half the game because we were chit-chatting. I don’t think my husband will forgive me.”
Mrs Lawler, whose husband Sean played for the Australian team, told the Telegraph UK that she too had learned they would be joined by the Prince just 30 minutes before the couple appeared on court.
Mrs Lawler is reported to have sent Bailey to change his shirt, to smarten his look for Prince Harry and Ms Markle.
Former rifleman Sean Lawler suffered an injury during a training accident in the Australian Defence Force.
He now works as a clerk for the ADF and is competing in golf, swimming and tennis.
Mr Lawler and Bailey train at the Westside Tennis Club.
Unfortunately, Australia lost to New Zealand in the semi-final.
Bailey is not the first Coffs local to have met the Prince at the Invictus Games.
Balkans War veteran Scott Seccombe fondly remembered his first time meeting him in 2014 at the Invictus Games in London.
Mr Seccombe made it his royal mission to get a selfie with the Prince.
“The Prince is so accessible to everyone at the games, he literally goes out of his way to say g’day,” Mr Seccombe said.
He said the Prince was very genuine and personal, and “loves the Australians”.
“There’s more to the bloke then just a photo opportunity.”
Mr Seccombe went on to meet Prince Harry on two other occasions in 2015 and 2016 and joked he could be considered a stalker.
He said Bailey meeting the Prince had not stolen his thunder or bragging rights but was a real privilege.
I missed half the game because we were chit-chatting. I don’t think my husband will forgive me. — Kylie Lawler
Bailey Lawler (right) met Prince Harry and his girlfriend Meghan Markle.
Scott Seccombe (right) made it his royal mission to meet Prince Harry.
Scott Seccombe competed in shot put in previous Invictus Games.