'Denny and Gazza' on guest list for royal wedding

By Alanah Eriksen

Former Kiwi shearer Gary Lewis will attend the royal wedding with his wife Lady Davina Lewis, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The Gisborne-born 37-year-old became the first Maori to marry into the royal family when he wed the daughter of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, a first cousin of the Queen, in 2004.

Lady Davina, 30, is 24th in line to the throne.

Names of some of the 1900 guests invited to Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding at Westminster Abbey next week have leaked through to the media. The palace has refused to reveal the guest list.

But when approached yesterday, a palace spokesman said: "That's correct, Lady Davina will be attending the wedding, along with her husband."

The couple are also expected at a reception hosted by the Queen after the wedding. Prince Charles will then give a private dinner and dance at the palace in the evening.

Mr Lewis, who works as a cabinetmaker, is the only Kiwi known to be attending the nuptials besides Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand and his wife, Lady Susan, and Prime Minister John Key and his wife, Bronagh.

Mr Lewis' relatives were yesterday keen to learn whether he would be at the abbey. Cousin Ayson Lewis, in Gisborne, said: "We've been listening out for news. We're all wondering, 'Is the cuzzy going or not?' But no one could tell us the answer."

The couple had a daughter, Senna Kowhai, in June last year. Mr Lewis already has a son, Ari, 18, from a previous relationship.

The couple met while on holiday in Bali. Neighbours referred to them as "Gazza and Denny" - unaware of their royal status - when they flatted in Grey Lynn before moving to Britain.

Lady Davina's parents were the only royals at their wedding because the private couple wanted a "low-key affair".

Mr Lewis, an old boy of Lytton High School, is one of four children. His father, Larry Lewis, won the Golden Shears competition in 1982. His mother, Viki Carr, lives in Auckland with her new husband.

Gary Lewis was brought up on the family farm in the remote Matokitoki Valley, near Gisborne. He is a nephew of Whale Rider author Witi Ihimaera.

Lady Davina grew up with her brother, Alexander, and sister, Rose, in an 11-bedroom apartment in Kensington Palace and was educated at exclusive private schools.

In 2008, photos emerged of Mr Lewis at the wedding of the Queen's eldest grandchild, Peter Phillips, and Autumn Kelly at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle. He can be seen standing metres from the Queen.

- NZ Herald

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