KIND-HEARTED friends from Shipston are picking out frocks fit for a royal wedding.
Tessa Hince from Brailes and Hayley Ash were shocked to receive an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s big day on May 19.
The two 32-years-olds were invited thanks to their work organising a festive lunch for those who would otherwise have been alone on Christmas day.
The former Shipston High School pupils were each invited to take a guest to the wedding, with Hayley planning to take her self-confessed royalist mum Angela, and Tessa taking her best friend Claire Easton.
They will be among 1,200 inspirational members of the public invited after Harry and Meghan asked the nine regional Lord Lieutenant offices for recommendations.
Hayley told the Observer: “We were both so overwhelmed to receive the invitation. I received mine first, noticing the Lord Lieutenancy Stamp. I called Tessa and she was equally as excited when she found out.
“We cannot wait to soak up the atmosphere at such a historical event.”
The duo will be at Windsor Castle to see the arrival of the bride and groom and their wedding guests when the ceremony takes place at St George’s Chapel.
Despite having had little time to go dress shopping the pair have started looking for new hats which they said was like ‘going sweet shopping’.
Both had already received invitations to the Queen’s garden party on May 15, and joked they now needed to find different outfits for the wedding.
But they are both agreed the invites are an excellent surprise for the Christmas lunches they have organised for the past two years.
Hayley said: “We set up the event in 2016 and have ran the Christmas lunch for two years, going in to our third. The day is a replication of a traditional Christmas lunch which includes present giving, carols, the town band, Father Christmas and a three course Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. We are lucky to have so much support locally and people drop in homemade mince pies, baubles, christmas trees and vegetables.
“The event is for anyone who may find themselves alone on the day from age 17 to 99-years-old – we open our doors to those in the community and surrounding villages.”