Prince Harry reunites with former matron

Prince Harry's former matron Vicki McBratney reunites with her "favourite student", 18 years after she last saw him.
Joseph Johnson

Prince Harry's former matron Vicki McBratney reunites with her "favourite student", 18 years after she last saw him.

The flicker of recognition on Prince Harry's face was instant.

His face lit up when he was introduced to Vicki McBratney in the gathered crowd on Cashel St on Tuesday, 18 years after he last saw his former matron.

It may have been the only embrace he instigated in the entire New Zealand royal tour.

"Hello! Nice to see you, how are you?" he said, kissing her twice and giving her a hug. "Nice to see you, are you alright?"

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Vicki McBratney worked as a matron for Prince Harry when he attended Ludgrove School
David Walker

Vicki McBratney worked as a matron for Prince Harry when he attended Ludgrove School

McBratney had arrived two hours before, nervously waiting for her chance to see the "cheeky, funny boy" she had once doted on.

In 1997 during the start of her tenure at Ludgrove School in Wokingham, England, she and Harry had grown close, bonding over late night chats and hot chocolates and mourning the loss of their mothers.

McBratney's first day on the job was Princess Diana's funeral.

McBratney shared photos with Harry of the pair's time together at Ludgrove after waiting patiently for his arrival on ...
David Walker

McBratney shared photos with Harry of the pair's time together at Ludgrove after waiting patiently for his arrival on Cashel St.

Since then she has married - Andy McBratney, a fellow employee at Ludgrove - and moved to Christchurch to settle and have children.

This was all news to Harry, who spotted Hayden, 11, Summer, 10, and Sienna, 8, and asked "Are these all yours?"

He then shook the hand of each of her children, and husband Andy.

McBratney then handed the fifth in line to the throne photos she has kept close by for 18 years. While Harry was apprehensive to see what had been captured on camera, groaning an "Oh no...", as he checked the photos, it was soon replaced with happy nostalgia.

"They are awesome, there's Walter! I love that," he said.

Vicki asked how the prince had been since they last saw each other, to which he replied: "Very well, keeping busy".

She then said "long time no see", which was met with a laugh from the prince.

Harry then congratulated her for the amplitude of camera crews hanging around her.

The brief reunion was wrapped up as Harry departed with a final farewell, thanking her for the photos and checking they were "happy living here".

Afterwards, McBratney said she was just "happy he recognised me".

"I'm so glad the kids met him. And he remembered me which was really nice."

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 - Stuff

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