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Buckingham Palace responds to Tony Hudgell after he missed chance to attend King’s Garden Party following M20 lorry fire

Buckingham Palace has responded after double amputee Tony Hudgell missed his chance to attend the King’s Garden Party due to a lorry fire on the M20.

There were long delays on the motorway yesterday following the blaze on the London-bound carriageway between J3 (the Wrotham Interchange) and J1 (the Swanley Interchange), with thick smoke halting traffic.

A lorry fire on the M20 between J2 (the Wrotham Interchange) and J1 (the Swanley Interchange) has caused long delays
A lorry fire on the M20 between J2 (the Wrotham Interchange) and J1 (the Swanley Interchange) has caused long delays

Police and fire crews arrived at the scene at about 12.20pm to tackle the flames, but disruption continued until 5pm - which proved too late for Tony Hudgell to attend the King’s Garden Party.

The young lad, who had been tortured by his birth parents and was so badly injured he needed to have both legs amputated, was among those caught up in the queues.

After his adoptive mum, Paula Hudgell, tweeted that her little boy was stuck in traffic for more than two hours and was going to miss the event, she was touched when the Royal Family responded.

In a reply on X (formerly Twitter), a spokesperson said: “Sorry to hear this, Tony!

“We were looking forward to seeing you too. Fancy trying again another day? Leave it with us…”

Paula and thousands of Tony’s supporters were thrilled at the palace’s response.

She replied last night: “Thank you so much for this wonderful reply, we were all so disappointed and flat tonight.

“This tweet has certainly lifted our spirits and Tony is going to bed now much happier.”

Following the incident on the M20 yesterday a Kent Fire and Rescue Service spokesman confirmed first aid was given to one person for minor smoke inhalation.

Three fire engines, a bulk water carrier and the technical rescue unit were sent to the scene, where crews wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel jets and covering jets to extinguish the flames.

The scene was clear and traffic returned to normal yesterday evening.

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