When Zoe Arundell last saw Prince Harry alongside Meghan Markle, the groom-to-be was doing an impromptu jig.
Now the 20-year-old charity volunteer is poised to see him again — this time as a guest among those invited to Windsor Castle to witness the wedding processions of Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, on May 19.
Arundell was chosen for her volunteer work with Valleys Kids, a charity helping disadvantaged and vulnerable children and families in the former industrial heartland of south Wales.
She is taking her “nan” (grandmother) Pat Churches, 62, with her as her date for the big day.
“I hope I’ll see them on the carriage and see how beautiful she looks in the dress,” says Arundell.
She met Harry and Meghan at Cardiff Castle in January, where she was among the locals welcoming the couple to the Welsh capital.
“There was a dance going on, and after that Harry broke into a dance himself,” she recalls. “Everyone just broke into laughter, as no one was expecting Harry to break into a dance!”
“I had no clue at all was going to happen,” she says. “When someone from Valleys Kids called me and said, ‘Have you got something exciting coming up?’ and I said, ‘No, I don’t think so!’ I thought nothing of it. Then I had a letter through the door about the invite a couple of days later.”
She is set to be on the grounds of Windsor Castle, where she will have a coveted spot to watch the carriage ride and the arrival of guests up close.
“It says in the letter that I was chosen because of the strength of the work I’ve done in the community,” says Arundell, who first went to the organization to use their services when she was just six years old.
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She volunteers in the library, coffee shop and charity store, as well as assisting the kids with art and drama.
“It helps growing their skills and confidence, or work with one another to meet new people,” she says of the children’s plays, which she shared with former actress Meghan.
“She asked me all about the things I’d done and the drama side,” says Arundell. “She mentioned how much she loved it, and asked me about the shows. She said what I did was great.”
In Cardiff, she was left in no doubt about the couple’s bond. “Throughout the time you could see how they were and how they were speaking to one another they have a very close bond. They’ll have a great future.”