Bridesmaid honour for local youngster

Niamh Cullen and Fuzzy.
Niamh Cullen and Fuzzy.

She wants to be a fairy princess. And this summer, young Niamh Cullen will feel just like one.

The five-year-old from Alnwick will be a bridesmaid at the wedding of the youngest daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland.

Niamh Cullen and Fuzzy.

Niamh Cullen and Fuzzy.

Lady Melissa Percy, 25, known as Missy, is marrying Thomas van Straubenzee, 30, in the town on June 22.

And Niamh, a pupil at Alnwick South First School, will be a very special guest on the special day.

She cannot wait.

“I am really happy and very excited. It is a big honour,” said Niamh, who lives in Hulne Park with father Andy, 46, mother Tracy, 38, and brother Cameron, seven.

“I am really excited about the dress,” she admits.

Niamh’s invitation is a special one.

Not only does she and her family get on well with the Percys, but Niamh has a love for, and bond with, the Duchess’s dog, Fuzzy.

Her father Andy is a gundog trainer and Fuzzy sometimes goes to stay with the Cullen family.

Niamh said: “I love Fuzzy.

“I love giving Fuzzy cuddles and walks.”

There are due to be eight bridesmaids at the wedding and Niamh will be one of the youngest.

It is the first time that Niamh will be a bridesmaid.

Mother Tracy said: “Missy asked if Niamh would like to be a bridesmaid. And she said yes.

“It is a great honour and the family is thrilled.

“We are looking forward to seeing Niamh on the day. She has wanted to be a fairy princess.

“She is very excited. She is always talking about it.

“We went to WH Smith and used a book token to buy a story about a bridesmaid.

“Niamh took it to school to show everybody.”

Tracy added: “We get on well with the family. Niamh loves Fuzzy. She calls the Duchess Fuzzy’s mummy. Fuzzy is very good with the children.”

The wedding ceremony is being held in the town’s St Michael’s Church and the reception will be at the Percy home, Alnwick Castle.

The Duke and Duchess are planning for 500 guests, which will make it bigger than the wedding of their other daughter, Lady Katie, in February 2011.

The wedding is expected to be one of the biggest social events of the year.

However, the Duke and Duchess have said that they want the grand wedding to be a local affair and want the community to enjoy the occasion.

It is also expected to provide a massive boost for the local economy.

Reflecting on Niamh being a bridesmaid at the wedding, the Duchess told the Gazette: “I am very happy that Niamh is going to be one of the bridesmaids.”