He’s created almost as much buzz as the royal baby in the past few weeks, but waiting for the arrival of a member of the royal family is nothing new for Cambridge-based fan Terry Hutt. Yesterday, the team at Kensington Palace sent him a cake and note (above) to celebrate his 80th birthday, a nod to Hutt’s dedication and support over the years.
Just who is this dapper Brit and why is he so dedicated to the royal family?
1. Hutt’s first encounter with the House of Windsor came during World War II, when London was being bombed by the Germans. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother went on walkabouts to show their strength and solidarity alongside the country. “We met during the Blitz when she visited areas of North London,” Hutt told Cambridge News in November 2012. “I’m one of 12 from a poor family and it was always embedded in to me how important it was that I’d met the Queen Mother.”
2. Heart surgery forced Hutt into early retirement, and he found himself wanting to learn more about the royal family. “I was just being nosy really,” he recalled with a laugh. “I kept on seeing them on the TV and I had more spare time than before, so I decided to go and have a look. I met the Queen for the first time when I was 58. I’d just retired and I decided I wanted to see what was going on, so I went to Clarence House.”
3. Queen Elizabeth II has a nickname for Hutt, whom she’s seen in the crowds over the past 20 + years. “She knows me as the Union Jack man as I’m always dressed up in red, white and blue,” Hutt said. “They’re my colours and she’ll always talk to me; we’ve talked about her mum before.”
4. The Princess of Wales is his favorite royal. In fact, Hutt met Diana once while handing out blankets to homeless people in London; she was opening a residential home for the homeless near St. Bartholomeow’s hospital. “She brought a difference to them [the royal family], she modernised them and she had time for everyone,” he said.
5. He always comes prepared for a royal event. “A few days before an event I go and do my homework,” Hutt, who camped out at 2011’s royal wedding, held a vigil while the Duchess of Cambridge was in hospital with morning sickness in December 2012, and was outside the Lindo Wing for Prince George‘s birth in July 2013, said. “Royalists from all over the world who I have met along the way keep in contact and they want to know where I’m going to be, so we work it so that we try and keep together. I make sure I know where I’m going to stand and I take supplies for the week: a groundsheet, tent and food.”
6. When he’s not supporting the royal family, Hutt is campaigning for causes close to his heart. Having worked in environments where asbestos exposure was the norm, Hutt now suffers from breathing problems. He’s also campaigned for animal rights, against hospital closures, and better public restroom facilities.
It’s a privilege to be around to help the good causes and I enjoy supporting people. Not everybody likes the Queen and the royal family but I’m here for anyone who wants help, what I do with my spare time is down to me.
“I just believe in helping other people.”