Local pupils provide a right royal welcome

Visiting Belfast city centre during their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle Markle begin their first visit to Northern Ireland at the Eikon Centre at an event celebrating the youth-led peace-building initiative ��Amazing the Space�" and showcasing groundbreaking cross community and reconciliation work from young people across Northern Ireland.  Launched by Prince Harry in September 2017, ��Amazing the Space�" empowers young people across Northern Ireland to become ambassadors for peace within their communities.  Photo by Aaron McCracken
Visiting Belfast city centre during their first visit to Northern Ireland on 23 March 2018, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle Markle begin their first visit to Northern Ireland at the Eikon Centre at an event celebrating the youth-led peace-building initiative ��Amazing the Space�" and showcasing groundbreaking cross community and reconciliation work from young people across Northern Ireland. Launched by Prince Harry in September 2017, ��Amazing the Space�" empowers young people across Northern Ireland to become ambassadors for peace within their communities. Photo by Aaron McCracken

Two New Bridge Integrated College pupils enjoyed Royal company on Friday as they were sat beside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their visit to Northern Ireland.

The Prince and his American fiancée had been attending a cross border peace-building event at the Eikon Centre in Lisburn where they were welcomed by thousands of young people, including Luke Mayger and Caitlin McShane from New Bridge.

Jack Whyte, Luke Mayger,  Caitlin McShane and Beth McDaniel,

Jack Whyte, Luke Mayger, Caitlin McShane and Beth McDaniel,

As Luke and Caitlin took their seats they were informed that the Prince and Meghan Markle were to sit beside them.

Year 9 pupil Caitlin said: “I found out a couple of minutes before I sat down in the seat. I was very shocked when I heard. I was quite nervous but she’s really friendly, I said ‘hi you’re gorgeous’ and she said I was gorgeous too. They’re very friendly and down to earth. “

Year 10 pupil Luke said none of his friends believed him when he told them who had been sitting beside them, until the photos of the event came out.

He said: “It was a bit of shock when I saw it was on the news, my mum bought some of the newspapers.

“They seemed very nice and very interested in what the people were saying.”

A spokesperson for the school said: “The pupils were chosen because they were members of our school Pupils Council who wrote a Peace Pledge 18 months ago.

“We made a video showing how we live out the Peace Pledge in our daily school lives and it was shown on the day along with submissions from other schools.

“The promises we made in the Peace Pledge helped our school win the Evens Prize for Peace Education along with the work we do in our lessons when we deal with controversial issues. “We are the first UK school to be awarded the Evens Foundation prize and we are very proud.”