Prince William invites army widow to royal wedding

AP, Getty Images file

(R) Maj. Alexis Roberts and Prince William (L) marches during the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, southern England, Aug. 11, 2006.

By royal expert Camilla Tominey

William’s decision to invite the widow of his army mentor to his wedding shows just how important his military ties are to him.

Susie Roberts, whose husband, Maj. Lex Roberts, 32, was killed in a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2007, will be among the guests at Westminster Abbey on April 29.

The Gurkha officer was William’s platoon commander and instructor at Sandhurst, the army academy where he trained in 2006. The prince was devastated by his death and has remained in contact with mother-of-two Susie since attending Maj. Roberts’ funeral at Canterbury Cathedral.

Both William and Harry have forged close bonds with their military colleagues and have singled out servicemen’s charities for special attention. They are never seen without their Help for Heroes wristbands.

Indeed, currently Harry is braving subzero temperatures at the North Pole to raise money for the Walking With the Wounded charity, of which he is patron. He and his teammates hope to raise £2 million ($3.2 million) for injured soldiers.

Maj. Roberts is sadly not the first of William’s comrades to lose his life in the line of fire. Jo Dyer, a female officer who trained with the prince at Sandhurst, was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2007.

John Stillwell / PA via AP file

Notes and flowers left for Maj. Lex Roberts, killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan in 2007.

Roughly 1,900 wedding invitations were sent out to royal family members, politicians and high-profile celebrities, including David Beckham and Elton John. William and Kate also invited close friends dear to them from their past — such as the local pub owner of the Middleton family's hometown — leading many to call it "the people's wedding."

Related: The 'people's wedding'? Kate invites hometown friends

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