Lancashire baby invited to help celebrate Prince George’s first birthday

Theo Walsh with his mum and dad Neil and Grace and sister Lillie in St James Park

Theo Walsh with his mum and dad Neil and Grace and sister Lillie in St James Park

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

A LITTLE boy who shares his birthday with Prince George was one of just 12 children to be given a special coin to mark the day.

Theo Walsh and his family were invited to London last weekend to mark the future monarch’s first birthday celebration, which was yesterday.

Theo, three-year-old sister Lillie, mum Grace, 31, and dad Neil, 30, enjoyed a picnic outside the palace at St James’s Park after being presented with the sterling silver coin.

Grace, from Wallsend, near Todmorden, said: “It was an amazing day. We feel so privileged to have been asked.

“We went down on the Friday, then met the other families on the Saturday morning at the Stafford Hotel, which was lovely. We had a picnic at St James’s Park and kept edging closer to the palace. I was hoping we might get a look inside.

“After that we had afternoon tea back at the hotel and came home on the Sunday. It was a brilliant weekend.”

Last year, the Royal Mint gave 1,700 babies born on the same day as Prince George a silver penny struck with the year of their birth.

But this year only 12 of those babies were given the £5 coin and invited to London.

“I thought it was a joke at first,” said Grace. “The Royal Mint’s PR company rang about a month ago and invited us, then we got an invitation through the post.

“I had presumed all of the babies from last year would be there. I couldn’t believe it when there were just 12.

“It was an amazing honour and it’s fantastic that Theo shares his birthday with Prince George.

“Lillie was named after my grandma, who shared her date of birth with The Queen, although she was born in a different year, so we’ve had a couple of Royal connections.”

Shane Bissett, director of commemorative coin and bullion at the Royal Mint, said: “The birth of Prince George was a joyous occasion not just for their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge but also for the whole nation.

“As he turns one we wanted to mark this historical moment with Theo who shares this special birthday, with a commemorative sterling silver £5 coin.

“The choice of a silver coin is significant too, as crossing the precious metal across a baby’s palm is a way to wish them wealth and good health throughout their life, while the £5 coin is a favourite for royal celebrations.”

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