LITTLE Gavin Hazelwood had the best sick day of his young life last week when a sore throat turned into an opportunity to meet a real life princess.
The six-year-old from Melbourne begged his mum to let him tag along as she welcomed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Melbourne at an event in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
She agreed, and Gavin got to work on a gift. He dipped pasta in gold paint and threaded it through some blue ribbon. Then he made a sign that read, simply: “I made you a necklace”.
After waiting patiently for hours, Gavin met Meghan, handed over the necklace and watched as she put it on.
His story, first told by news.com.au, was circulated around the world. Now he wants to capitalise on the moment by making and selling his pasta necklaces to raise money for charity.
His mum, Rowan, said he was shocked by how much attention he’d received, and wanted to use it to help people. Specifically, he is trying to raise money for research into stillborn deaths after losing a sibling a few years after he was born.
Gavin and his dad went to work on a website — www.imadeyouanecklace.com. They’re now offering the gold pasta necklaces to the public for $20 a piece.
“I want to be like the Prince and Princess and support charities,” Gavin says on the website.
“I made more necklaces the same as Meghan’s. If I sell them, I will donate all the profit to charity. I’d love to start my own charity in honour of my sister.”
EXCLUSIVE: That necklace Meghan Markle was wearing today is made of pasta dipped in gold. Gavin, who ‘woke up with a cough’ today, got his wish to meet a princess. – with @brontecoy @newscomauHQ https://t.co/Gegy88Q7Q5 pic.twitter.com/XsK8iQGg9K— Rohan Smith (@Ro_Smith)
Mrs Hazelwood shared video of the moment Gavin met Meghan with news.com.au. In it, the Duchess appears to walk past the six-year-old before spotting him.
She leans down and has a chat.
“Thank you. That’s fantastic,” she tells him.
“You made this? Thanks Gavin. Nice to meet you. I really appreciate that, thank you. I’m going to put this on. How’s it look?”
Meghan wore the necklace as she entered Government House last Thursday but was later seen without it. Mrs Hazelwood said she was “shocked” that Meghan took the time to speak with her son, and that she wore his gift.
“I thought to myself, ‘I hope the gold paint doesn’t mark her dress’ but it had dried by then.
“It was such a nice moment for him.”
She said Gavin would never have been able to meet Meghan if it weren’t for good-willed members of the public, who let him squeeze in next to them at the front of the fence.
“The crowd was really helpful,” Mrs Hazelwood said. “We were about four people deep and couldn’t really see. A couple of people on the fence pulled him through and he waited there, without me, for so long. He was so patient.”
The patience paid off.
Social media lit up with comments on Gavin’s story, celebrating the boy and the way Meghan interacted with him.
“What a truly gentle woman,” one person wrote. “I can imagine how that made the child’s day.”
“Now this is too adorable for words,” another wrote.
Others suggested Gavin should “mass produce these” and commented that they were “in tears over this sweet little boy’s gift”.