Royal invitation boy wants 'to see if the King is OK'

Tony Hudgell wearing sunglasses in his garden
Tony Hudgell was invited to the garden party in recognition of his fundraising [BBC]

A nine-year old boy who has been re-invited to Buckingham Palace after missing a garden party due to traffic said he "just wants to see if the King is OK".

Tony Hudgell, from Kent, who is a double amputee, was on his way to the party hosted by King Charles III on Wednesday when he got stuck in a traffic jam on the M20.

Speaking a day after the disappointment, Tony said he was now excited to meet the King because he has "always wanted" to see him.

The youngster told BBC South East: "He has had some treatment and I just want to see if he was okay."

The King took a break from public-facing duties after his cancer diagnosis in February, but on his return in April spoke of his "shock" at finding out he had the disease.

He met guests on Wednesday at the first of two summer parties the Palace will host this year.

Tony had returned home "flat as a pancake" after his family were forced to abandon his journey.

But the young fundraiser's mood was lifted when a surprise social media post from the Royal Family invited him back for a future event.

'He was missed'

His adoptive mother, Paula Hudgell, said the official response put "a big beam" on his face and he went to bed "knowing he was missed".

Having been "buzzing" when he got out of school on Wednesday, Tony said he only found out about the traffic jam and missing the garden party when he woke up from a sleep in the car.

He said he was surprised to get a personal message on the Royal Family's page on X, formerly Twitters.

"The actual Royal Family tweeted mum and said we could go next year - I didn't even think they would do something like that.

"They're always busy and after the garden party they would have been tired, so I didn't think they would do that."

Tony Hudgell wearing sunglasses in a car on his way to the palace
Tony's adoptive mum said he kept his spirits up throughout being stuck in traffic [Paula Hudgell]

Tony, who has raised more than £2m for charity, had both legs amputated following abuse as a baby by his birth parents.

He underwent surgery in April to help secure his permanently dislocated hip and attach a frame to lengthen one of his legs.

Eventually, Ms Hudgell said, Tony should be able to walk without crutches, though she described his pain as "through the roof" at the time.

It's likely the family will attend a garden party in May 2025, by which time Tony's mum hopes he will be able to walk around the palace.

The family received a formal confirmation of the future invite from the Lord Chamberlain's office.

Tony said: "I was really happy that I can go next year. I feel very happy."

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