Weston-super-Mare's royal superfan 'heartbroken' he can’t attend the Queen’s funeral
A royal superfan from Weston-super-Mare says he’s ‘heartbroken’ he can’t travel to London to bid a final farewell to the Queen.
Nicknamed 'Union Jack Man' by Her Majesty, 87-year-old Terry Hutt met the Queen on numerous occasions, attending dozens of royal events through the decades.
A recent injury means Terry isn’t strong enough to travel from Weston-super-Mare to Westminster, leaving him "sad" he can’t pay his final respects to the Queen.
He said: "It’s really sad for me that I’m not able to go to London to pay my respects. If I’d have been stronger, I probably would have but knowing how I feel, I wouldn’t have been able to.
"I was heartbroken but It’s been amazing seeing people go up to London for the first time to pay their respects.
"Sitting at the TV and seeing all the coverage with a cup of tea has been quite relaxing for me. It’s what the Queen would’ve wanted anyway, she wouldn’t have wanted to see me get pushed around."
Terry also had the privilege of meeting King Charles III as prince and supports his approach to leadership at a challenging time.
He said: "I’ve met Charles many times, although I never say numbers. I think he’s done a great job to stand by his family like he has, and he must’ve learnt a lot. He’s caring and that is one of the main things I look for.
"I think it’s very hard for the family to grieve in public. Unlike you and me they can’t hide. When William and Harry had to walk behind Diana’s coffin, I think that told the story of how hard it is there.
"I’ve been getting messages on Facebook and phone calls from all across the world from people asking if I’m alright."
Terry has a strong history with the royal family dating back to before the Queen’s coronation.
He said: "When I first saw The Queen, she rode along the road on horseback, that’s where I was told that she’d be my Queen one day.
"She gave me a little wave which is where it all started."
"One of my fondest memories of The Queen was when I was invited to the palace to be honoured one of my badges.
"I was told to go in a waterproof outfit because they forecast rain, but when I got there the sun started shining and everybody took their coats off. She spotted my union jack outfit and smiled.
"When we wrote to each other, I talk about helping other people and I think she appreciates that I’m doing what she’s doing and helping other people."
"In writing to her I thought that she was genuine. She was there to help the country and I thought she did a great job of that.
"I’ve met lots of ministers and people like that but the Queen presented herself in a different way, she was more gentle. The reason I’ve followed her for all these years is to be there for her and the family.”
Gordon Hayes, a friend of Terry’s attends Weston-super-Mare’s friends club for the retired, speaking of Terry, he said: "He’s livened the club up quite a lot, he’s invited lots of people to look at his memorial office and memories of The Queen."
"I understand that he’s been quite well known in the royal circles. I don’t know If he’ll get to London this time, but he’s always done it before."