More than 850 community and charity representatives from across the UK have been invited to the King’s coronation.
Invitations to the May 6 service at Westminster Abbey in central London have been extended to more than 450 British Empire Medal (BEM) recipients in recognition of their contributions.
Among them is record-breaker Max Woosey, 13, dubbed “the boy in the tent”, who raised more than £750,000 for North Devon Hospice by camping in his garden for three years.
Some 400 young people representing charities will also be able to watch the coronation service and procession from the adjacent St Margaret’s Church.
The youngsters were nominated by the King and Queen Consort and the UK government.
The BEM recognises the achievement or contribution of service to the community in a local area.
Many recipients attending the coronation were “instrumental in providing services and support to their local communities during the Covid-19 lockdowns”, Buckingham Palace said.
Max, of Braunton, Devon, first pitched his tent in March 2020 with the aim of raising £100, inspired by his neighbour and friend Rick Abbot, who died of cancer in February 2020.
He went on to set a Guinness World Record for the biggest sum raised by camping, with the proceeds paying for 16 community nurses in north Devon.
Other BEM recipient invitees include Dawn Wood, a constable with Essex Police’s marine unit, who became the second fastest woman to row solo across the Atlantic in February 2019, after a 3,000-mile journey from the Canary Islands to Barbados in 51 days.
Since then, she has visited more than 50 schools and communities to talk about her experiences and raise awareness of marine plastic pollution, and in August 2019 she arranged the Big Burnham Litter Pick to clear the shoreline.
Grandfather John Anderson, 72, from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire, who was honoured for his community work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, has also been invited.
The retired firefighter helped set up a call centre where people with Covid-19 could call for a food parcel and have it delivered to their home, and he later established a community food pantry in Fraserburgh.
On being invited to the coronation, he said: “It’s quite a privilege because I won’t see another one and I’ve never seen one.
“There’s a lot more higher up people than me, film stars, lords and ladies… to be asked is quite an honour.”
Buckingham Palace said the 400 young people invited to the “special private viewing” of the coronation at St Margaret’s Church represent a range of charities.
Half of them are involved with the Prince’s Trust, the Prince’s Foundation, Barnardo’s, the National Literacy Trust or the Ebony Horse Club, after the organisations were chosen by Charles and Camilla.
The other 200 are from the Scout Association, Girlguiding UK, St John Ambulance and the National Citizen Service and were nominated by the government.
The four organisations are providing stewarding, route lining and first aid services on coronation day across London.
The 400 guests will also be able to see the coronation procession leaving Westminster Abbey at the end of the service.
St Margaret’s is known as “the Church on Parliament Square” and is a 12th century place of worship.
It is understood that this is the first time St Margaret’s has been used to host youngsters at a coronation, Buckingham Palace said.
The late Queen was a royal patron of the Scout Association, Girlguiding UK and Barnardo’s, and Charles and Camilla are involved with many of the organisations invited to St Margaret’s.
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