Happy Birthday Ma’am, all the way from Ballymena

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 Ballymena Cadet has been selected to take part in the Queen’s 90th birthday beacon lighting ceremony at Windsor later this week.

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 from Ballymena will be playing a special role in the unique ceremony.

Emmalee will be on duty, representing Northern Ireland’s Cadets, joining the official party alongside Cadets selected from England, Scotland and Wales.

At approximately 7pm on Thursday, Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall – and eagerly watched by the teenage 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 for me and I am absolutely thrilled to be taking part.

“The excitement is really starting to build up 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 will be very proud to represent Ballymena at the Queen’s 90th birthday party!”

Members of the Army Cadet Force will be taking beacons to the top of the four highest peaks in the United Kingdom - Ben Nevis, Scotland; Mount Snowdon, Wales; Scafell Pike, England, and Slieve Donard, here in Northern Ireland.