Palace says ‘leave it with us’ after boy misses party

Tony Hudgell wearing sunglasses in a car on his way to the palace
Tony Hudgell's visit to Buckingham Palace was abandoned due to traffic on the M20 [Paula Hudgell]

A nine-year-old double amputee boy has received a royal invitation from Buckingham Palace after missing the King's garden party due to a traffic jam.

A downhearted Tony Hudgell, from Kent, was about to go to bed after spending several hours with his family in traffic on the M20 when an official royal intervention boosted his mood.

The post on the Royal Family's page on X, formerly Twitter, said: "Sorry to hear this, Tony! We were looking forward to seeing you too. Fancy trying again another day? Leave it with us."

The boy's adoptive mum, Paula Hudgell, said the response had put "a big beam" on his face. "He’ll go to bed tonight knowing he was missed," she said.

Tony, from West Malling, had both legs amputated after he was abused as a baby.

He had received a special invitation to the garden party from the King.

Ms Hudgell, said the family spent several hours in traffic trying to get to London.

But a lorry fire on the M20 on Tuesday caused long delays, and in the end the family had to abandon their journey.

She had posted on social media to say the family had been stuck and would miss the party.

Garden Parties are held each summer to invitees who have made a positive impact in their community.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service said it was called to reports of a lorry alight on the M20 London-bound and first aid was given to one person for minor smoke inhalation.

Ms Hudgell said during the time they sat in traffic, she was worried about those involved in the incident.

On returning home, she said the family were as "flat as pancakes".

But she said Tony had kept his spirits up throughout.

She said: "He was true Tony style. You are sitting in three and a half hours of not moving and he was singing away and people were chatting to him."

Due to further surgery she is undergoing next week, Ms Hudgell was not sure when they would be able to organise a return visit.

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