Colsterworth man at heart of Kate and Wills’ wedding

Keith Hanson will have a role to play at the Royal Wedding.
Keith Hanson will have a role to play at the Royal Wedding.

AS the man in charge of the Crown Jewels on a daily basis, Keith Hanson is used to responsibility.

But even he can be forgiven for feeling a little nervous today as he takes on the role of protecting Her Majesty the Queen at the royal wedding.

Keith, who lives in Colsterworth, is the chief exhibitor at the Tower of London, which gives him direct responsibility over the Queen’s regalia.

However, today he will be one of 12 members of the Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard who will be stationed inside Westminster Abbey during the wedding ceremony.

Keith said: “I’m very excited. To be selected alone is really fabulous because it will be such an auspicious occasion.

“It will be a highlight of my career without a shadow of a doubt because we don’t have many royal weddings. To even be involved, in my own little way, will be awe-inspiring.”

Duties on the day for Keith and his fellow Yeoman of the Guard will include showing guests to their seats and greeting the bride on her arrival.

Keith said: “We will be stationed just inside the Great West Door. There will be a dozen of us in full costume.

“As we are guarding the west door Her Majesty comes through, followed by Kate Middleton. Our presence will be there throughout the service and then they will come back through that way.”

Keith will be wearing the traditional Yeoman State Dress which has barely changed in over 500 years.

The striking red and gold tunics will be easy to spot inside Westminster Abbey, along with the unique white Tudor ruff worn around the neck.

They also traditionally carry a partizan - a lance wooden staff stretching over six feet in length - and a sword on their hip.

Keith said: “There’ll be some extra spit and polish on the shoes for this one I think!”