Royal day for Lee’s widow and son

Middleton Guardian - - FRONT PAGE -

THIS is the poignant mo­ment the widow and son of mur­dered sol­dier Lee Rigby met Prince Harry at a spe­cial gar­den party to hon­our the fallen.

The fusilier’s six-yearold boy Jack and his mum Re­becca Rigby, 34, were all smiles as the Prince strug­gled to keep a plate in the air when he tried his hand at spin­ning.

They were among 850 young­sters in­vited to Buck­ing­ham Palace for a fun­fair hosted by Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge in hon­our of the chil­dren of ser­vice­men and women killed while serv­ing their coun­try.

Lee, from Mid­dle­ton, was killed by two Is­lamic ex­trem­ists out­side Wool­wich Bar­racks in Lon­don in 2013. The pair were later jailed for life.

Re­becca Rigby said: “Prince Harry is a really nice guy. It’s been a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity for both par­ents and chil­dren.”

Prince Harry told the au­di­ence: “I can as­sure you that Buck­ing­ham Palace gar­dens have not seen this much fun, ever.

“We’re here to cel­e­brate you and to re­mind you that we as a fam­ily, we as a na­tion and we up and down the coun­try will never ever for­get about the sac­ri­fices that ev­ery sin­gle one of you have made.”

The prince added: “You are all to­gether, you are one com­mu­nity of peo­ple that have been through the same ex­pe­ri­ences and for that ev­ery sin­gle one of us here, all the or­gan­is­ers, the three of us, the whole of our fam­ily and the whole of this na­tion, thank you so, so much for ev­ery­thing you guys have done.”

The tea party was or­gan­ised by the roy­als as a spe­cial treat for the chil­dren and ‘to hon­our those whose mother or fa­ther have died fight­ing for their coun­try’, royal sources said.

Wil­liam, Kate and Harry wanted to ac­knowl­edge ‘the fact that a num­ber of young chil­dren have had to come to terms with the loss of some­one very close to them at a young age’.

The duke and prince have re­cently spo­ken of their dev­as­ta­tion fol­low- ing the death of the mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 when they were young boys.

Harry ad­mit­ted he had sought coun­selling to help him cope with his grief, while Wil­liam said of his mother’s death ‘the shock is the big­gest thing and I still feel it 20 years later’.

Prince Harry talks to Lee Rigby’s widow Re­becca and his son Jack dur­ing the tea party at Buck­ing­ham Palace Andrew

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