12-Year-Old Girl Who Survived Manchester Bombing Stunned by Royal Wedding Invitation


Amelia Thomson has endured what no 12-year-old child should ever have to go through, and the memories still haunt her dreams at night.

After she watched her uncle lose his battle with cancer and her father become so ill he had to go to intensive care, a friend bought Thomson and her mother tickets to the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

It was at this concert that 22 people were killed and hundreds of others were injured in the suicide bombing that happened moments after Grande finished her final song.

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“When the bomb exploded, I had an asthma attack. Well, a panic attack,” Thomson said. “My mom dragged me down.”

The little girl was surrounded by chaos and saw things that no one, adult or child, should ever have to see. Although doctors were able to heal her vocal cords that had been shredded from screaming, the trauma of the event still lives with the 12-year-old.

Since that day, Thomson has raised money for those affected by the tragic event, both physically and psychologically, and she is working with a therapy horse named Victor to get through the hard times.

Although Thomson is slowly healing, her mother nominated her for a ticket to the royal wedding when she heard that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wanted to extend invitations to leaders in their communities.

A few weeks later, Thomson received an email that said she had been selected to attend the royal wedding.

“I started reading it and thought it was fake,” Thomson said. “I was just saying to my mom, ‘This isn’t real. This can’t be real.'”

But the email was very much real, and a few weeks later her printed invitation came in the mail. Unlike traditional wedding invitations, it said that Thomson should think about bringing her own lunch and chair.

The 12-year-old also gets to bring a “plus one,” and although she is close with her mom, she wanted to bring someone else who Thomson has been growing close to.

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Sharon Goodman lost her 15-year-old granddaughter, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, in the bombing, and Thomson knows that Goodman sees a bit of Olivia inside her. Thomson tries not to ever cry in front of the elderly woman.

“She does the same with me and, like, we have now formed a special bond that we can just chat,” Thomson said. The unlikely pair will be attending the wedding together.

Thomson said that she is inspired by the way Prince Harry coped with his own tragedy during his childhood when his mother died in a car crash.

“He was open about his mum, which is why it kind of made me feel a bit more open about my feelings and how I might feel in life after the bombing.”

Thomson’s mom is glad that her little girl is worrying about things such as what dress she is going to wear to the wedding instead of the tragedy that haunts her life.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith