Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

Kiwi medic ends honeymoon at royal wedding

After a 26-hour flight following his own wedding, medic Graeme Watts will be ready to help any of the thousands lined up to catch a glimpse of the royal newlyweds in London.

Mr Watts, from Te Atatu, will be stationed at a treatment centre near Buckingham Palace with St John Ambulance when Prince William marries Kate Middleton on April 29.

He has been in New Zealand since April 5, honeymooning with his English wife, Julia Roberts-Watts.

The couple, both 34, were married at a ceremony in Bath, southwest England, in January with about 60 of their British family members and friends.

On Saturday they held a ceremony at the Te Atatu RSA for New Zealand relatives who could not be at Bath.

The pair met at Auckland University of Technology, where Mr Watts was studying nursing and his wife management. They moved to Britain in 2006.

The couple will arrive at Heathrow Airport about 7.15am on April 29, after a one-hour stopover in San Francisco. After a dash to their home in Chiswick, west London, where Mr Watts will drop off his luggage and change into his uniform, he will catch the tube to the palace before starting a 12-hour shift at 9am.

"I will literally chuck on my kit and go," he said. "There was no way I was going to miss this.

"I'm a little nervous. I have never worked an event of this kind of scale before. It's going to be such a hot day and so packed but it all comes down to the training."

He will provide first aid along the royal family's procession route between the palace and Westminster Abbey, where the wedding will take place.

"Two of us will form what they call 'foot parties' and we'll be patrolling the area and responding to calls as they come."

Despite being a trained nurse, Mr Watts volunteers with St John only for big events. He works as an electrical wholesaler in Chiswick.

Another Kiwi working for St John on the day will be Cambridge-born chartered accountant Simon Watts - no relation of Graeme.

The 32-year-old will be stationed near the abbey.

"There is a lot of anticipation. It's the biggest event on the royal calendar in recent history.

"Anything could happen - from fainting to chest pains or heart attacks. But it's what we're trained for."

Mr Watts, who attended Waikato University, works for the Royal Bank of Scotland but during the weekends is on call for the London Ambulance Service, responding to emergencies within a 5km radius of his home in Putney, southwest London.

He works with St John for big events, most recently helping out with the London Marathon on Sunday.

He has lived in London for six years with his wife, Shannon, from Gisborne. The couple have a 7-month-old son, Jack.

- NZ Herald

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