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Lady Melissa to wed Prince Harry’s friend

Service of Thanksgiving for Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland at St Michael's Church in Alnwick

Service of Thanksgiving for Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland at St Michael's Church in Alnwick

The youngest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland is to be married next summer – to Prince Harry’s best friend.

Lady Melissa Percy is engaged to Mr Thomas van Straubenzee, 30.

The 25-year-old will be following in the footsteps of her sister, Lady Katie, with nuptials taking place in Alnwick.

And it is believed that the ceremony will take place in July.

Lady Melissa, 25, is a tennis coach at the prestigious Queen’s Club and lives in London.

Mr van Straubenzee, also lives in the capital and runs VanHan, a London estate agency.

His parents live in Leicestershire.

Royalty is anticipated to be at the wedding next year, as Prince Harry is best friends with the groom-to-be, who was also an usher at the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton last year.

Mr van Straubenzee and the princes also attended Ludgrove prep school and Eton together.

The wedding will take place at St Michael’s Church, on Bailiffgate, Alnwick, which has been the spiritual home of the Percy family for generations.

It is likely to be conducted by Rev Paul Scott who said: “I am very pleased about the news.

“It will be something really nice to look forward to after the death of Duchess Elizabeth and is an opportunity to focus on something positive and bright.”

It is the same venue as Lady Katie’s wedding to city financier Patrick Valentine, in February last year, which saw hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets.

Mr van Straubenzee was at his fiancée’s side in Alnwick at a service of thanksgiving, held for Lady Melissa’s grandmother, Elizabeth, Duchess of Northumberland, on Monday.

The couple, who have been courting since 2009, move in royal circles and it is expected that a number of high profile guests, alongside Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton and Prince Harry will be invited to the occasion.

Other names on the guest list could include Pippa Middleton, the Duchess’s sister who has been linked to Lady Melissa’s older brother, Earl George Percy and Princess Nora Oettingen-Spielburg, who is said to be dating her younger brother, Lord Max Percy.

The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland said: “We are absolutely delighted that Melissa and Tom have become engaged. We have known Tom for several years now and we like him enormously. We look forward to his becoming a member of the family. No date has yet been agreed for the wedding, but we expect it to take place at Alnwick next summer.”

 

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