A royal super-fan who missed out when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex visited the county last month has now had a special encounter with the royal couple.
Photographer Julia McCarthy-Fox from Southwater, near Horsham - dubbed Britain’s most devoted royal watcher - is currently on a trip to New Zealand and was on hand when Prince Harry and wife Meghan made their first major overseas tour to the Antipodes.
Julia has been photographing the royal family for more than 30 years and has travelled thousands of miles across the UK taking photos of royal events. And last week she had two opportunities to see the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Before the royal couple touched down in New Zealand, Julia was visited by a reporter from one of the daily news shows on New Zealnd television to discuss her royal interests. She was then flown to Wellington on the day the couple arrived to see them when they visited the National War Memorial.
Julia said: “Having followed members of the royal family taking photographs for over 30 years now I missed the first visit of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to our county last month as I am currently in New Zealand for six months. So I was delighted to find that from here I could see part of their first major overseas tour, with a big walkabout planned reasonably close to us.
“But I ended up having a much bigger adventure as I was invited by a television programme to be flown to Welington to see Harry and Meghan on the day that they arrived here in New Zealand, with a reporter and photographer following me. The repoprter also visited beforehand to film an interview, and it went out on mational television during the royal visit.
“It was amazing how many people who had seen it stopped me to say so in the days following! I saw the Sussexes jointly lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War memorial in Wellington and then undertake a long walkabout.
“In Rotorua later in the week we sat in the sunshine for several hours as part of an enormous crowd awaiting the walkabout and were rewarded with a handshake from Prince Harry and some lovely photos, so it was worth putting in the hours.
“When I booked this trip I had no idea that I would still be able to add to my royal photo collection while I was here - this has been a real bonus.”