An Asda delivery driver who flew back from his son’s wedding weekend in Greece to attend the King’s Coronation said it was ‘absolutely worth it’ – and found himself sat near Lionel Richie and Ant and Dec.
Geoff Norris, from the branch in Wisbech, found himself in a predicament after receiving an invitation of a lifetime – to attend the coronation at Westminster Abbey.
But Geoff soon realised the coronation date clashed with another key occasion – a family trip to Greece where he would be best man at his 29-year-old son Anthony’s wedding to fiancee Laura.
Geoff, who was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020 for his work during the pandemic, said: ‘When I received the invitation from the Cabinet Office I felt very, very proud and very, very honoured.
‘I obviously accepted straight away, but the panic set in as soon as I realised I was going to be out of the country, but I had to be at both occasions.
Asda home delivery driver Geoff Norris found himself in a predicament after receiving an invitation of a lifetime
Geoff said attending the coronation was ‘one of the most humbling experiences’
‘I couldn’t miss this opportunity to be at the Coronation of King Charles III and I certainly couldn’t miss my son’s wedding.’
The family were set to fly to Kos early May for a holiday around the wedding on May 10.
Luckily with the help of a friend, who is a pilot, he managed to sort out flights that worked perfectly so he didn’t miss either event.
‘How humbling it was. It was one of the most humbling experiences – and how fortunate I was,’ he told The Telegraph, speaking about the coronation.
‘We were sat in there, this is a public ceremony, there’s tens of thousands of people stood out in the rain hour after hour and we were lucky to be where we were. It was surreal.’
‘We were sat right at the entrance, so everyone came past us. I had Lionel Richie to my left and Ant and Dec to my right,’ he added.
During the pandemic, Geoff arranged for his team to deliver food and essentials and to look after vulnerable and elderly people in his community, and even organised a surprise 90th birthday treat for an elderly customer who was self-isolating on her own on her big day.
He also got his wife, Vanessa, and daughter, Anna, involved and they also helped with the orders.
Geoff was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2020 for his work during the pandemic