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Family Handout
World News

King allows boy to be buried in closed churchyard after being 'moved' by mum's appeal

by Donna Birrell

King Charles has given permission for the body of a seven-year-old boy, who was killed in a suspected hit-and-run last month, to be buried in a churchyard in Folkestone which has been closed for 170 years.

William Brown, whose mother Laura describes him as a 'child of God', died in December after being hit by a car while trying to retrieve a football in the street.

Although the churchyard at St Mary and St Eanswythe was closed in 1870, a burial did take place there in 1898 after an exception was made. Laura Brown was told that the Privy Council would have to approve her burial application but that its next meeting wasn't til February.

She decided to drive to the Sandringham estate, on Christmas Day, to appeal to the King directly, to allow the burial as she said the church was a place 'dear to William's heart.' The Telegraph reported that she handed a letter to the King’s security team, asking whether the case could be expedited, “to help me bury my boy, so he is no longer alone”.

In the days following her son’s death William’s mother launched an online appeal to raise funds for his funeral and said any remaining money would be given to the church. She wrote: “Our son’s service will be held at the St Eanswythe’s church and God willing we will be able to bury our son in the grounds of the church he absolutely loved.

“He was child of God and he spent nearly every day after school in that graveyard. He would spend his time collecting conkers, foraging for wild garlic or generally digging, something that he loved.”

A spokesman for the King said:

“His Majesty was exceptionally moved by the family’s circumstances, and pleased to be able to assist.”

A spokesman for the Privy Council said: “We are pleased that His Majesty the King, on the advice of his Privy Council, has granted permission in order to support the family in these tragic circumstances. The Brown family and the local community in Folkestone are in our thoughts at this difficult time.”

William was a pupil at St Eanswythe’s C of E Primary School.

A 49 year old man has been bailed on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

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