The Princess Royal has described her pride at meeting Doncaster war veteran Ben Parkinson as she hosted a garden party for injured serving and former servicemen and women.
Lance Bombardier Parkinson, from Bessacarr – thought to be the survivor with the worst battlefield injuries received in the Afghanistan conflict– chatted with Princess Anne at the Buckingham Palace event.
The paratrooper lost both legs and suffered more than 40 injuries, including brain damage which affected his memory and speech, in a bomb attack in 2006.
However, despite talking with difficulty, he joked with the Princess about the long road to rehabilitation he is on.
L/Bdr Parkinson, dressed in his uniform and wearing his medals, said afterwards: “She said she was very proud to meet me and said how busy I am.
“She asked me how much I enjoy the hard work of rehab. I said ‘I don’t know about that’.”
The garden party was staged by the Not Forgotten Association, which has Princess Anne as patron and provides entertainment and recreation for serving wounded or sick servicemen and women and veterans with disabilities.
More than 2,000 guests were invited to have tea on the palace lawns.