KING Charles has surprised hundreds of children, Covid heroes and charity workers with an invite to the coronation – including the Boy in the Tent.
Max Woosey, 13, who raised more than £750,000 by spending over three years under canvas will join 850 non-dignitaries to witness the historic event – filling up more than half the congregation.
Other guests include a cancer survivor who made hundreds of hampers for the elderly, distillery owner who moved from alcohol to hand sanitiser and volunteer bike couriers who delivered PPE and medicine
The guest list has been cut down from 7,000 who filled Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II in 1953 – to around 2,500.
Only two dozen MPs are expected to receive invites to the historical moment on May 6.
But Buckingham Palace today reveals invites have been sent to 450 British Empire Medal winners – volunteers and charity workers – who will sit inside the Abbey.
A further 400 who will get their hands on the invites – which were revealed for the first time on Wednesday – will be children and young who will watch the service and Coronation from inside St Margaret’s Church nextdoor.
The British Empire Medal winners include Max who raised more than £700,000 for North Devon hospice after starting his marathon camp out during Covid-19.
Max, of Braunton, Devon, said: “It’s incredible to be allowed to get the invite. It’s an incredible feeling. I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to going to the historic event.
“It’s incredible that 2,000 people are allowed to go and I’m one of them.
“I’m hoping it’s more of a party coronation.”
Chef Manju Malhi, 55, of London, who offered remote cookery classes during Covid, said by plucking guests for their everyday heroics it will be the “People’s Coronation”.
She said: “It’s so unexpected. It’s such a historic day. I was just shocked, but pleasantly surprised really. I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere.
“I’m expecting it to have a pomp and ceremony, that kind of gravitas and weight of history.
“It will be that moment of ‘I was there’. It’s something I’ll tell friends and family about decades later: ‘I was there.’
“It feels really open and transparent. It encompasses people. It is the People’s Coronation. It’s about us really. Of course it’s about the King, but it’s also about us as a people.”
Cancer survivor, Sahil Usman, 17, of Blackburn, rewarded for his fundraising, said: “It’s a really big achievement to get this at such a young age.”
A source said: “The Coronation is an event for the whole country and not only the King and Queen.”
The names of guests attending the Coronation have been kept under wraps with Harry and Meghan not even revealing yet whether they will take their seats in the Abbey.
US President Joe Biden told the King on the phone last week he could not attend and would instead send First Lady Jill Biden.
Polish President Andrzej Duda and French leader Emmanuel Macron have confirmed they will witness the dual crowning on May 6.
Last week, the palace also confirmed Prince George, 9, will be a Page of Honour, alongside seven other youngsters including three of Queen Camilla’s grandchildren.
The palace revealed 400 children – representing charities backed by the Royal Family – will watch the service during a private viewing from St Margaret’s Church, next to the Abbey.
It is the first time the church has been used to hold children during a Coronation.
Two hundred, from The Prince’s Trust, The Prince’s Foundation, Barnardo’s, The National Literacy Trust and Ebony Horse Club, were chosen by the King and Queen.
The remaining 200 were nominated by the government from the Scout Association, Girlguiding UK, St John Ambulance and the National Citizen Service.
All four organisations are providing stewarding, route lining and first aid services on Coronation Day across London.
Other chosen heroes include Katrina Moffat, 45, of North Tyneside, a leader of Girlguiding UK, said: “I didn’t believe it at first. I thought someone was scamming me. You don’t expect these things.
“I definitely think this reign is going to be much more about the community, which the coronation reflects.”
Franstine Jones, 60, a volunteer and trustee of National Black Police Association, for services to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in Suffolk, said: “I’m so honoured.”
Rhys Andrew Mallows, 27, of Cowbridge, Wales, was rewarded for producing more than one million bottles of hand sanitiser from his distillery during Covid-19 pandemic.
Husband and wife Anthony, 56, and Vicki Van Someren, 48, of Shoreditch, East London, formed a network of cycle volunteers to courier PPE, food and medicine.
John Anderson, 72, of the Grampians, Scotland, for services to the community in Fraserburgh during the Covid-19 response, said: “I wasn’t expecting it. It’s a thing for film stars, lords and that kind. I think it’s very good that the common man is invited.”
Charity hero Dawn Wood, 46, a police officer from Essex who became the second fastest woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean, to raise awareness of plastic pollution, has also been invited.