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grocery store driver's coronation and wedding dilemma

2023-06-04 02:15:46 source:The Washington Post author:Press center2 click:132order

A supermarket delivery driver from Wisbech has been caught up in the ultimate diary-clash dilemma.

Geoff Norris has been invited to the coronation - when he was meant to be getting ready to be best man at his son's wedding, in Greece.

With the help of friends, he is hoping to make both landmark events.

The invitation to the King's coronation follows the Cambridgeshire driver's efforts to deliver food to vulnerable people during the pandemic.

"I obviously accepted straight away - but the panic set in as soon as I realised I was going to be out of the country," Mr Norris said.

"But I had to be at both occasions - I couldn't miss this opportunity to be at the coronation and I certainly couldn't miss my son's wedding," said the 55-year-old Asda driver, who used his delivery rounds to help people who were lonely and cut off in the pandemic.

With help from friends - and after imploring the travel company for some flexibility - he will travel out for preparations for his son's ceremony, come back for the coronation, in London, and return to Greece for the wedding a few days later.

Mr Norris, who helped organise a 90th birthday party for one isolated customer, will be rubbing shoulders with royalty and world leaders at the 6 May coronation, in Westminster Abbey.

Like the Duke of Sussex, he will be at the coronation without his wife. Although, Mr Norris's wife will be there for the wedding in Greece.

Meanwhile, details have been emerging of the painstaking efforts to produce the coronation invitations, including writing each of the guests' names.

Calligrapher Jenny Collier, from the London Scribes company, says the craft skill of handwriting the invitations is "quite a meditative practice".

"I mixed the blue colour by hand especially for the occasion, using a selection of highest-quality gouache paints with beautifully deep pigments," she said.

"This sits better on the surface of the card, which are a lovely recycled stock, whereas ink could soak in too much and bleed or feather."

But not everyone is supportive of the coronation and its cost to the public.

The amount of public funding will not be announced before the event, the government has said.

But a YouGov survey, published on Tuesday, suggests 51% of people think the government should not pay for the coronation and 32% think it should be publicly funded, with the rest undecided.

The younger people surveyed were much less likely to support public funding for the coronation.

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