A baby’s first birthday is always special but for a local tot, who was born on the same day as Prince George, it turned out to be a truly historic event.
Little Lucy Wright, who lives in Carnreagh, was the only baby from Northern Ireland selected to attend a celebration in London on Saturday to mark the birthday of His Royal Highness.
Lucy, who travelled to the capital with mum Diane and dad Richard, was one of 12 infants from different regions in the UK invited to the party at St James’s Park and, afterwards, in the luxurious Stafford Hotel.
All the babies were presented with a commemorative, sterling silver £5 coin bearing the Royal Arms design, which was specially struck by The Royal Mint in honour of the future sovereign’s birthday on July 22.
The invitation came as a wonderful surprise to the Wrights, who got a call “out of the blue” last month.
Diane, who teaches at the Jolly Jesters Pre-School in Dromore, explained, “When Lucy was born, we got a lucky silver penny because she was born on the same day as Prince George. She and the other babies who were invited to London were chosen at random from all those (17,500 in all) who got the pennies.”
According to the Royal Mint, throughout history, crossing the palm of a new born baby with silver, or offering them a silver penny, was seen as a way to wish them wealth and good health, while the £5 coin is a favourite for royal celebrations.
Said Diane, “It was a lovely day and all the parents were very excited that their child had been selected. The children had their photos taken and Lucy just loved the other babies. It will be a story for her to tell in the future.”
Lucy, who is Diane and Richard’s first child, shares Prince George’s birthday by chance as she was not due until August 1 but had to be delivered early.
Said Diane, “I would like to take this chance to thank the midwives in the recovery unit at Craigavon Hospital, where I stayed for a week after the birth, for their care. They went above and beyond the call of duty.”
Lucy attends the First Steps Junior Academy in Portadown and, said Diane, staff there were almost as excited as they were about the invitation.
After Saturday’s celebration, the family travelled to Wales for a week’s holiday.
The Royal Mint struck 7,500 of the birthday coins, all of which have already been sold.