Royal wedding

Renton man’s invite to pal Harry’s wedding with Megan on Saturday

Chalmers JJ and Prince Harry

Prince Harry with JJ Chalmers, hero soldier and son of the manse from Renton. 

By Bill Heaney

Prince Harry has handed a Royal Wedding invitation to a hero soldier from Renton.

JJ Chalmers was “torn to pieces” by a bomb blast while serving with the Army in Afghanistan.

After a miracle recovery from life changing injuries, minister’s son JJ went on to win gold medal at the Invictus Games.

JJ Chalmers was left fighting for his life after the explosion in 2011 which claimed the lives of two soldiers and left nine others maimed or traumatised.

The 30-year-old TV reporter suffered injuries to his arms and legs, lost two fingers and was left with scars on his face and chest, where one arm was temporarily grafted to his body.

He first met Prince Harry, who is to wed Megan Markle in Windsor on Saturday,  in June 2014 during a triathlon for injured veterans.

The prince persuaded him to enter the first Invictus Games that September and JJ won gold in a cycling event.

Since then the pair have grown ever closer.

JJ Chalmers 2JJ, pictured right, who works regularly for The One Show, said: “I’m just happy my friend is settling down with somebody. So many of our other friends are all settled down and have kids, so he needs to catch up.

“It’s fantastic to see that he’s been able to find someone, because I’ve been able to see what his life is like over the last four years and he works extremely hard, it’s very hectic.”

Married to Kornelia Chitursko in 2015 with one childJJ was most recently seen on TV screens taking part in BBC Two’s Pilgrimage: The Road To Santiago.

He explained that he listened to the last royal wedding on a wind-up radio while on duty in Afghanistan, adding: “The idea that somehow my life has gone from that to this is so incredible. I will be sitting up the back somewhere there going, ‘Have a good day, mate’.”

JJ went to school in Renton where his father, the Rev John Chalmers, was the minister of Renton Trinity Church and mother Liz was a teacher.  Mr Chalmers is a past Moderator of the Church of Scotland and Clerk to the General Assembly in Edinburgh.

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