A young soldier from Bexhill played a key part in the Royal Wedding last weekend, escorting the newly-minted Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Windsor Castle.
A serving member of the Blues and Royals Household Calvary Mounted division. 20-year-old Keaton Peppiatt, was one of the couple’s horseback escorts during the wedding pageantry, riding ahead of the royal carriage in full-dress uniform.
But it wasn’t the first time Keaton had been face-to-face with the Prince, as the pair had met some 10 years earlier, when Keaton was just ten-years-old.
As a youngster Keaton won plaudits for his fundraising and voluntary work with a charity which sent provisions boxes to front line troops in Afghanistan to raise morale.
One of Keaton’s boxes even made its way into the hands of Prince Harry, as the royal served on his then-secret deployment in Helmand Province.
Keaton’s dedicated work with the charity saw him win a number of awards, including prizes at the Bexhill Achievers Award for two years running. But the highlight came as the youngster won Women’s Own Magazine Children of Courage Award and was presented with the award by Prince Harry at Westminster Abbey in 2008.
Speaking about the meeting at the time, a 10-year-old Keaton said: “I asked him what he recommended to send out there. He said sweets, drinks and chicken tikka masala from Sainsbury’s in a packet.
“Then he said, ‘That’s the best meal I had when I was out there.’”
Keaton left Bexhill High School in 2014 and attended The Military Preparation College at Hastings and The Army Foundation College before passing out into The Blues and Royals Household Calvary.
He has been based with the division at Knightsbridge for the last two years , performing ceremonial duties including the opening of parliament and state visits.
Keaton will also be riding at this year’s Trooping the Colour which will be one of his last ceremonial duties before he moves on to the Armoured Division of the Household Calvary.