Today, I become a real-life princess

Echo: My prince – Charley Rae Holgate with James Bates, a fisherman with a title My prince – Charley Rae Holgate with James Bates, a fisherman with a title

A WOMAN’S dreams of becoming a real-life princess will come true today when she marries the prince of a tiny republic off the Essex coast.

Charley Rae Holgate, 24, a nurse at Southend Hospital who lives in Leigh, will wed the Prince of Sealand, James Bates, 27, at a country house in Feering, Colchester.

Sealand is a former Second World War Royal Navy fort, seven miles off the Harwich Coast, and declared independent under Prince James’s grandfather, Roy Bates, in 1966.

The reason the couple are not getting married there is because Charley doesn’t want her grandparents to travel by boat to get there.

Echo:

Nevertheless, Charley can’t wait. She said: “It’s still all a bit surreal. Sometimes I stop and think to myself, ‘Is this really happening?’ “It’s so strange to think I’ll be a princess.

“I’ve always loved Disney films, so it will literally be like a dream come true!”

James, who works as a fisherman, said they did talk about hosting the ceremony on Sealand, but desperately wanted Charley’s grandparents to attend.

He said: “They wouldn’t be able to come if we held it there.

“So we decided to get married at a nice country house, where we could stay for the night and have breakfast the next day with all our family.

“The whole event, including the ceremony, will be held outside, so we’re crossing our fingers for good weather.

“My mum is so excited, she shakes every time she talks about it.”

The couple, who live in Leigh, met at a mutual friend’s caveman themed fancy dress party in May, 2009.

James said: “The second time I met her,I told her I would marry her! We dated for six or seven months, and became a couple on New Year’s Eve.”

He popped the question last year on Friday, July 20, on a rowing boat in Dedham, Colchester, where the couple also enjoyed a picnic.

Charley said: “We go out to Sealand together every couple of months. It’s amazing going over there – it’s a real adventure, and there’s no-one for miles.

“After our engagement party, we went out there to hang up a banner, and then caught and cooked our own lobster. It was lovely.”

The couple will honeymoon in Malaysia for 18 nights, and hope to move into their new bungalow, in Leigh, when they return.

Comments (12)

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10:24am Fri 6 Sep 13

Jack222 says...

'Real-life' Princess? Err no. Self proclaimed princess perhaps.
'Real-life' Princess? Err no. Self proclaimed princess perhaps. Jack222
  • Score: 6

10:37am Fri 6 Sep 13

Say It As It Is OK? says...

It's what dreams are made of. My granddaughter met all the Disney Princesses in Disneyworld, Florida earlier this year. Believe me it's true they really are princesses. But then she is only Four!
It's what dreams are made of. My granddaughter met all the Disney Princesses in Disneyworld, Florida earlier this year. Believe me it's true they really are princesses. But then she is only Four! Say It As It Is OK?
  • Score: 2

11:34am Fri 6 Sep 13

pembury53 says...

Top boy's the Bate's........ and don't mess with 'em..... different rules apply on sealand than the UK mainland, and you could find yourselves in all sorts of bother .......
Top boy's the Bate's........ and don't mess with 'em..... different rules apply on sealand than the UK mainland, and you could find yourselves in all sorts of bother ....... pembury53
  • Score: -12

11:51am Fri 6 Sep 13

landydave says...

pembury53 wrote:
Top boy's the Bate's........ and don't mess with 'em..... different rules apply on sealand than the UK mainland, and you could find yourselves in all sorts of bother .......
grow up
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: Top boy's the Bate's........ and don't mess with 'em..... different rules apply on sealand than the UK mainland, and you could find yourselves in all sorts of bother .......[/p][/quote]grow up landydave
  • Score: 5

12:16pm Fri 6 Sep 13

Reginald47 says...

Is this a story? No. Get a grip, Gazette.
Is this a story? No. Get a grip, Gazette. Reginald47
  • Score: 3

12:38pm Fri 6 Sep 13

rhetoric says...

I wonder what is her nature as a nurse? Is she away with the fairies and Prince Charming, but very lovely and sweet to the patients, or has she an alter ego when working; practical and down to earth?
.
Wottevah!
.
Where local journals are concerned the "silly season" obviously extends beyond August.
I wonder what is her nature as a nurse? Is she away with the fairies and Prince Charming, but very lovely and sweet to the patients, or has she an alter ego when working; practical and down to earth? . Wottevah! . Where local journals are concerned the "silly season" obviously extends beyond August. rhetoric
  • Score: 1

12:48pm Fri 6 Sep 13

pembury53 says...

landydave wrote:
pembury53 wrote: Top boy's the Bate's........ and don't mess with 'em..... different rules apply on sealand than the UK mainland, and you could find yourselves in all sorts of bother .......
grow up
not a chance
[quote][p][bold]landydave[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: Top boy's the Bate's........ and don't mess with 'em..... different rules apply on sealand than the UK mainland, and you could find yourselves in all sorts of bother .......[/p][/quote]grow up[/p][/quote]not a chance pembury53
  • Score: -7

2:10pm Fri 6 Sep 13

Kim Gandy says...

Oh for heaven's sake, it's a bit of fun and lightness among all the horror.
Oh for heaven's sake, it's a bit of fun and lightness among all the horror. Kim Gandy
  • Score: -2

2:32pm Fri 6 Sep 13

Feminism is Dead says...

Congratulations you two but marrying the grandson of a self-proclaimed prince doesn't make you a real princess.

I could proclaim myself Princess of **** Drive where I live and there would be no-one to stop me.
Congratulations you two but marrying the grandson of a self-proclaimed prince doesn't make you a real princess. I could proclaim myself Princess of **** Drive where I live and there would be no-one to stop me. Feminism is Dead
  • Score: 3

4:12pm Fri 6 Sep 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

I recall the sealand thing when i was a little lad, the echo did a few stories on it now and again at the time it was pretty amazing...still is really.
I recall the sealand thing when i was a little lad, the echo did a few stories on it now and again at the time it was pretty amazing...still is really. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: -1

6:08pm Fri 6 Sep 13

pembury53 says...

Feminism is Dead wrote:
Congratulations you two but marrying the grandson of a self-proclaimed prince doesn't make you a real princess.

I could proclaim myself Princess of **** Drive where I live and there would be no-one to stop me.
but what's a 'real princess' ?........ sealand is to all intents and purposes a foreign country, so she's as real as any other, just without the bling
[quote][p][bold]Feminism is Dead[/bold] wrote: Congratulations you two but marrying the grandson of a self-proclaimed prince doesn't make you a real princess. I could proclaim myself Princess of **** Drive where I live and there would be no-one to stop me.[/p][/quote]but what's a 'real princess' ?........ sealand is to all intents and purposes a foreign country, so she's as real as any other, just without the bling pembury53
  • Score: -3

1:14am Sat 7 Sep 13

Boris says...

pembury53 wrote:
Feminism is Dead wrote:
Congratulations you two but marrying the grandson of a self-proclaimed prince doesn't make you a real princess.

I could proclaim myself Princess of **** Drive where I live and there would be no-one to stop me.
but what's a 'real princess' ?........ sealand is to all intents and purposes a foreign country, so she's as real as any other, just without the bling
It's not a foreign country, it's a joke.
.
Anyway we don't need princes or princesses, except in pantomimes and fairy stories, but if people want to play at being royalty, good luck to them.
[quote][p][bold]pembury53[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Feminism is Dead[/bold] wrote: Congratulations you two but marrying the grandson of a self-proclaimed prince doesn't make you a real princess. I could proclaim myself Princess of **** Drive where I live and there would be no-one to stop me.[/p][/quote]but what's a 'real princess' ?........ sealand is to all intents and purposes a foreign country, so she's as real as any other, just without the bling[/p][/quote]It's not a foreign country, it's a joke. . Anyway we don't need princes or princesses, except in pantomimes and fairy stories, but if people want to play at being royalty, good luck to them. Boris
  • Score: -2

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