Third time lucky for Naoise as persistence to meet royals pays off

Never say never. A boy who has repeatedly tried to meet royalty will realise his dream in Galway today.

Naoise Barker, aged 11, first tried to meet the Queen last year when he wrote to invite her to meet him and his family on his Easter holidays in Britain.

Naoise, who has autism spectrum disorder, invited the Queen for a bite to eat at the Chicken Shack restaurant in Clapham.

He received a reply from Buckingham Palace thanking him for his invitation, but regretting that she was unable to accept.

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Undaunted, he wrote to Prince William earlier this year after watching a TV programme about rhino poaching. He invited him to his home in Connemara, but in a letter of reply the prince politely told him he was unable to accept.

However, when he heard that Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were coming to Galway he put pen to paper once again.

In his letter, Naoise says: “I wrote to your mother last year and to your son William earlier this year about poaching and to save the rhino.

“I heard on Raidio na Gaeltachta that you are coming to Ireland. I was wondering if you would like to come and visit my home in Connemara, to come and visit our farm.

“There are not many animals. But one day I would like to build my own zoo. My dad said you like farming. If you can come for a tea or coffee your [sic] very welcome to come visit me.”

His letter has not yet been answered, but fate has now stepped in to ensure that Naoise will get to meet the prince after all.

Two Connemara schools have been selected to provide 10 children each to sing and play musical instruments for the royal couple at a reception in NUI Galway today.

Naoise’s school, Scoil Náisiúnta Cholmchille, an Tualch and Scoil Náisiúnta Ros a Mhíl were the two chosen. At Naoise’s school the names of the 10 children to perform at the reception were pulled from a hat. And sure enough, Naoise’s name came out.

“He is really excited, we all are. He will be performing for the prince and duchess, but he still wants to meet him to talk about poaching and the rhino. He is very interested in wildlife,” said Naoise’s mother, Bridget who is from England.

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