AN invite to the Queen’s garden party is a dream come true for a former Mayor of Westhoughton.
Cllr Ryan Battersby, from Westhoughton Town Council, and his girlfriend Amy Longmore will be taking the trip to London after being invited to the party at Buckingham Palace on June 10.
They were put forward by Julie Hilling, Bolton West MP, after Cllr Battersby raised £15,000 during as mayor in 2012-2013.
The money was donated to charity Ovarian Cancer Action and to Westhoughton schools to be spent on sport. Ms Hilling will accompany the couple.
Cllr Battersby, aged 23, a health and safety administrator at Stateside Foods, from Westhoughton, said: “I knew I was attending the Garden Party before the invite arrived but I didn’t say anything to anyone in case it didn’t happen.
“As a lifelong royalist it’s a dream come true to receive an invitation. It is something I have always wanted to achieve.
“I will probably be a bit emotional when the national anthem starts and the Queen arrives.”
Cllr Battersby, who was one of the country’s youngest mayors, spoke on BBC Radio Manchester of his admiration of the Queen on International Women’s Day.
He said: “I love the Queen. The Queen has been constant through this country's time of hardship and times of celebration. She sets an example of duty that isn’t found in many places nowadays.
“She has been on the throne for 62 years and does the job as well now as she did in the beginning, if not even better.
“When people meet the Queen, they usually say it’s a pleasure to meet her and that it is an honour.
“I would probably ask her if she was looking forward to Royal Ascot, which will be the week after.”
Miss Longmore, aged 22, a trainee primary schoolteacher, was said to be excited about the visit and looking forward to buying a new dress for the occasion.
Ms Hilling said: “I picked Ryan and Amy to attend the garden party due to their dedication to the community of Westhoughton during their time as town mayor and mayoress of Westhoughton.
“During his mayoral year, Ryan raised over £13,000 and made donations to some fantastic charities that make a real difference.
"Ryan is a great royalist and I’m delighted that I could enable him to visit Buckingham Palace and hopefully see the Queen.”