Published: Mon, June 24, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Royal matchmakers: Prince William’s best friend to marry George’s teacher

Royal matchmakers: Prince William’s best friend to marry George’s teacher

Thomas van Straubenzee popped the big question to Lucy Lanigan-O'Keeffe last week - to which she said yes.

It's unclear how William's good friend, Thomas von Straubenzee met Lucy Lanigan-O'Keefe, George's teacher, but their engagement certainly shows the small circle that surrounds the English royals. It's a serious relationship'.

Wedding details like where and when the ceremony will take place have yet to be made public, but Nikkah does report that Prince William will serve as an usher.

Their wedding was held at her family's ancestral home Alnwick Castle, which doubles as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films.

Mr van Straubenzee (36), meanwhile, own a property business and was previously married to Lady Mielissa Percy but they split in 2016 after three years together.

The charity minded bride-to-be, whose brother is Irish Olympic pentathlete Arthur Lanigan-O'Keeffe, now runs the social action projects for Thomas's schools across London.

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Ms Lanigan-O'Keeffe, 31, is the daughter of Carolyn and Stephen Lanigan-O'Keeffe, from Co Kilkenny.

The close links between the Royal Family and van Straubenzee family are long-standing.

Prince George and Princess Charlotte have played key roles in their fair share of royal weddings, including that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018.

After Henry's sudden death, the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund was set up in his honor. Thomas attended Ludgrove School (a boarding school in Berkshire) with Princes William and Harry, as did his younger brother Charlie and their late brother Henry, who died in a vehicle crash in 2002.

The Queen is also known to be fond of Thomas, a Balmoral regular. Thomas attended the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011, serving as an usher and sharing the toast at the reception.

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