Emmalee to light beacon for Queen’s 90th birthday

Ballymena  Cadet Emmalee Wray who has been selected to take part in the Queens 90th birthday beacon lighting ceremony at Windsor. (Supplied Picture - Crown Copyright).
Ballymena Cadet Emmalee Wray who has been selected to take part in the Queens 90th birthday beacon lighting ceremony at Windsor. (Supplied Picture - Crown Copyright).

A Lurgan mother says all her dreams have come true as her daughter is set to take part in the Queen’s birthday celebrations.

Debbie-Lee Wray’s daughter Emmalee has been selected to take part in the 90th birthday beacon lighting ceremony at Windsor later this week.

Though Emmalee is from Ballymena, her family is firmly rooted in the Dollingstown with her grandmother Netta Wells working at MLA Samuel Gardiner’s office. The 17-year-old is a pupil at Ballymena Academy. Her mum and dad Tony will be travelling to Windsor with their daughter on Thursday.

Her mum said: “I am so proud of her. I have followed the royal family from I was a child and this is a lifetime dream come true.”

The Queen’s 90th birthday will be marked on April 21 with the lighting of a nationwide chain of beacons and, when Her Majesty lights the first beacon at Windsor Great Park, Emmalee Wray will be playing a special role.

Emmalee will be on duty, representing Northern Ireland’s Cadets, joining the official party alongside Cadets selected from England, Scotland and Wales. At 7pm on Thursday, the Queen, with The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall – and watched by the Cadets, international press and media and a huge public audience - will light the principal beacon, setting in train a series of more than 1,000 beacon illuminations across the country and worldwide.

Emmalee says: “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I am thrilled to be taking part. The excitement is really starting to build now and my uniform has never been more carefully cleaned and pressed. I’m not quite sure what to expect, but I know it will be a wonderful day and I am proud to represent Ballymena at the Queen’s 90th birthday party!”