"It was the most extraordinary, magical day of my life!” That’s how Faith Dickinson, 15, remembers May 19, 2018, the day she attended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s enchanting royal wedding. As one of the seven lucky Diana Award recipients invited to the royal wedding, the Peterborough, Ont., teen was humbled to be included in the happy couple’s big day. “I am truly grateful,” she told Hello! back in April after getting the exciting news.
Faith is the founder of Cuddles for Cancer, a charity she launched at age nine after making her Aunt Lyndi a cozy blanket while she was going through treatments for breast cancer. Faith has since made more than 3,500 blankets for “anyone in need of a cuddle,” and last year she was honoured with the Diana Award – named after her very own role model, Princess Diana – for her selfless work.
“My motto is: You’re never too young to make a difference,” said the philanthropist, who accepted the award from Prince William and Prince Harry in 2017 at a Legacy Award ceremony. “He is very personable and charming!” Faith revealed of the newly minted husband.
Attending the royal wedding – alongside select members of the public invited to the grounds of Windsor Castle – was a dream come true for Faith, who took countless photos of the proceedings and watched in awe as Meghan walked up the steps of St. George’s Chapel. Here, she relives the day and shares special memories with Hello!
Tell us about your time at the wedding! What were some of your biggest “pinch me” moments? I think that would be when the choir was [singing] “Stand by Me.” Everyone outside of the chapel was singing along and it was just such a beautiful moment.
You’ve also said that seeing Meghan in her dress was especially memorable. What made it so magical? I think it was pretty cool that we were technically one of the first to see Meghan in her dress, and I thought it was beautiful. It was simple and elegant but it really accented her veil, which I think was what she was going for.
For the occasion, you had a custom dress designed for you by Ottawa label Zarucci. That must have been a special experience! It was definitely a dream dress for me! I also had a fascinator designed for me from David Dunkley in Toronto, and they just went perfectly together.
What was the mood like around the chapel and where were you and the other Diana Award recipients seated? The chapel entrance where they came in, we were right in front of it! It was such a positive vibe. The crowd was so energetic and everyone was just so happy and excited to be there and share the moment with them.
What was it like seeing all the royal arrivals? It was very exciting! We got to have a picnic before and we shared stories with the other six [recipients] and the staff from the Diana Awards and it was very fun. And then right away, we didn’t even know, but Prince Harry and Prince William just walked in! We didn’t know what to think and at that point, we were kind of in the back of our section. But when the other royals came up, we snuck into the front row!
What was it like to see Harry and Meghan exit the chapel as newlyweds? Everyone was screaming at that point because we were all so excited that they were married. When they came out … they were smiling and waving, and then they shared a kiss which was beautiful. Everyone was [yelling], “Kiss again, we missed it!” [Laughs]
What do you think they were feeling in that moment? I think they were totally excited at that point. But I think Prince Harry might have been a little bit nervous before [when he was] walking in.
If you could have met Meghan and Harry on their big day, what would you have said to them? That’s a tough one! The other six Diana Award [recipients] were kind of talking about that and thinking, “Wait, are we actually going to get to talk to them?” [Laughs] So we were all kind of panicking and thinking about things [we would say]. I would say, “Congratulations! You two are perfect for each other. Keep doing amazing things.”
With their choice of flowers, music and more, Harry and Meghan paid tribute to Princess Diana throughout their wedding day. As an admirer of Diana’s, what do you think about those special touches? They were perfect. I think [Diana] was there the whole day, watching over [Harry] and smiling and I think those little things were just really beautiful. And the flowers especially really touched my heart.
Did you bring any of your Cuddles for Cancer blankets to England? I did! We actually brought blankets for two of the recipients that I won the Diana Award with last year. We also went to Scotland and made some blankets for Edinburgh’s children’s hospital. And there was a girl that I was talking to on Twitter who was a Manchester bombing victim – she was just so brave … so I made her a blanket and I got to meet her.
You’re doing such great things. What are you hoping to accomplish next? Thank you! Well, this summer we are opening a Cuddles for Cancer in Alberta. And then we’re hoping to start one in the U.K., maybe in England or Scotland.