Invitation to Royal Family in wake of Galway hoaxApril 27, 2012 - 7:15am
By Bernie Ní Fhlatharta
An invitation has been sent to the British royal family to attend the Volvo Ocean Race finale in Galway following the publicity surrounding a hoax last week that Prince Harry was due to attend.
It is now believed that the spoof letter allegedly sent from Buckingham Palace to the Mayor of Galway and the City Manager was intended as an April Fool prank but the letter didn’t arrive at City Hall on time.
The Volvo Ocean Race greatly benefitted from the publicity and as a result the organisers decided to write to the British Embassy in Dublin to invite any member of the British royal family who would like to attend the finale of the round-the-world sailing race to do so.
John Killeen, Chairman of organisers Let’s Do Global, confirmed that the invitation to the British royal family had been posted, adding that royalty from Spain, Sweden and Abu Dhabi as well as VIPs and glitterati from various parts of the world were already due to attend the event.
“They are more than welcome, any one of them. The letter inviting them has been sent to the British Embassy in Dublin, so you never know, there might yet be a British royal attending the finale,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Galway, Cllr Hildegarde Naughton preferred to stay tightlipped about the hoax letter yesterday, but she did confirm that she had seen a copy of the spoof letter and had asked City Hall to follow it up. “I accepted its authenticity at the time. It is unfortunate that anyone would go to those lengths to mislead us. We would – and did – treat that request, which we now know was a hoax, with the strictest of confidence for obvious security reasons. I understand now that the Volvo Ocean Race organisers are issuing an invite to the British royal family,” she said.
A spokesman for City Hall confirmed that the hoax letter had been received in the post and had an English postmark. It was intended to arrive for April Fool’s Day. However, the post was delayed and it was not received at City Hall until early April.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.