Afghan veteran to mix with stars at royal wedding
Britain's Prince William, speaks to patients, including Lance Corporal Martyn Compton, during a tour of the Help for Heroes Rehabilitation Complex, at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (DMRC), at Headley Court, in Surrey, southern England in this June 4, 2010 file photograph.(REUTERS/Ben Stansall)
LONDON - An Afghan war veteran will join celebrities, monarchs, politicians and sporting greats at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton to be held at London’s Westminster Abbey on Friday.
With six days to go before the marriage, which officials predict will be watched by up to two billion people around the world, details of the wedding were released by St. James’s Palace including names of some of the 1,900-strong congregation.
Among those invited was Lance-Corporal Martyn Compton, a friend of the prince who served alongside him in the Household Cavalry and was so severely burned in an ambush in Afghanistan in 2006 that he lost his ears and nose.
He will join celebrity couple David and Victoria Beckham, pop star Elton John and British film director Guy Ritchie, among others.
Photographer Mario Testino, who took the official engagement pictures, and singer Joss Stone, who performed at a tribute concert for William’s late mother Princess Diana in 2007, are included, as is “Mr. Bean” actor Rowan Atkinson.
Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe, former England rugby coach Clive Woodward, ex-England soccer star Trevor Brooking and Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas will represent the sporting world.
British media continued to give the wedding prominent coverage on Saturday, with the young royal couple making it on to the front pages once again.
The Daily Mail published a new survey which showed 51 percent of people believed the wedding would mostly strengthen the role of the monarchy in British life and only two percent said it would weaken the royal family.
That compared to 65 percent of people who believed the marriage between William’s father Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 would weaken the monarchy.
William, 28 and second in line to the throne, met Middleton, 29, when they were studying together at St. Andrews University in Scotland.