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‘I will be parachuted into a different world’ – Norfolk cattle farmer gets surprise Royal wedding invitation

PUBLISHED: 13:26 13 April 2018 | UPDATED: 06:39 20 April 2018

Norfolk cattle farmer and Easton and Otley College assessor Helen Reeve. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk cattle farmer and Easton and Otley College assessor Helen Reeve. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2018

A Norfolk cattle farmer will swap her wellies and overalls for something more glamorous after receiving a surprise invitation to the Royal wedding.

Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve with her herd of Dexter cattle. Picture: Sonya Duncan. Norfolk farmer Helen Reeve with her herd of Dexter cattle. Picture: Sonya Duncan.

Helen Reeve, from Alburgh, near Harleston, said she was astonished to receive a letter from the Lord Lieutenant for Norfolk, inviting her to join the crowd in the grounds of Windsor Castle as part of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s celebrations on May 19.

She will be one of six Norfolk representatives among 1,200 members of the public drawn from every corner of the UK, to watch the arrivals of the bride and groom and their guests at St George’s Chapel, and to see the newlyweds start their carriage procession through Windsor.

“I have no idea why I was chosen,” said Miss Reeve. “It is a mystery to me – I am still convinced it is the biggest April Fool’s joke.

“It is mind-blowing really, to be part of something like this. I just see myself as a young lady from south Norfolk who loves cows, and all of a sudden I will be parachuted into a different world.

“The people I have told have asked: ‘What will you wear?’ Obviously it won’t be my welly boots and overalls, but other than that I really don’t know.”

READ MORE: West Norfolk youth worker bags Royal wedding invitation

Miss Reeve hopes to take her mother Joan to the ceremony. “I have a lot of friends who wanted to go, but my mother is my best friend and I wouldn’t be where I am without her,” she said. “She is a big fan of the Royals, and would otherwise have been at home watching the wedding on TV.”

Kensington Palace said the 1,200 public guests, nominated by nine regional Lord Lieutenant offices, were chosen from a broad range of backgrounds and ages, including young leaders and community servants.

READ MORE: Inspirational 12-year-old amputee chosen to be part of the Royal wedding

Miss Reeve is an active voice in the farming community. The 36-year-old, who runs the Waveney Dexter Beef herd in south Norfolk, is also a lecturer and assessor at Easton and Otley College, vice president of Harleston Young Farmers’ Club, and member of a host of cattle societies and livestock clubs.

And she has a double reason for celebration this week after also winning a £4,000 scholarship from The Farmers Club to fund a three-week educational visit to the USA – one of only five awards made across the country this year. The Norfolk Farmers Trust also contributed a grant towards her travel costs.

“I am going to the World Jersey Cattle Bureau Conference, which starts in Oregon and goes to Chicago,” she said. “The idea is that I bring all these experiences back to the classroom and share my knowledge with the college students.”

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