Indy royal fanatic gets royal wedding invite

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — The royal wedding is the biggest event in the world this year, so obviously being invited would be pretty epic.

But one Hoosier, who lives in downtown Indy, is one of the lucky few to receive an invitation.

Andrew Lannerd is anything but your typical royal fan. He's a royal fanatic.

He's excited about Prince Harry marrying an American, but nothing compares to the excitement of receiving his wedding invitation. He's not even entirely sure how it happened.

"I have to pinch myself because it's surreal."

He's been to hundreds of royal events, and said while he isn't for certain the queen knows who he is, he thinks she recognizes his face.

Lannerd became interested in the royal family after Princess Diana's death.

"I was a teenager at the time and I wanted to know everything about the royal family. What is this about the pomp and pageantry? I wanted to know everything," said Lannerd. "That's where it started and it's the passion of my life."

Lannerd says it's been 15 years of "manic collecting." These days he's constantly looking for things to add to his collection.

He's met the queen eight different times, but says he's seen her about 150 times.

"It's something I do when I am in England. I look for the royal family for interaction," Lannerd said.

Meghan Markle arrives at USA Network and The Moth's A More Perfect Union Stories of Prejudice and Power Characters Unite storytelling event in West Hollywood, Calif. on Feb. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle pose for photographers during a photocall in the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, Monday Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle hold hands as they pose for photographers during a photocall on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, Monday Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle pose for photographers during a photocall on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, Monday Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Meghan Markle arrives at USA Network and The Moth's A More Perfect Union Stories of Prejudice and Power Characters Unite storytelling event in West Hollywood, Calif. on Feb. 15, 2012. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Britain's Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle pose for photographers during a photocall on the grounds of Kensington Palace in London, Monday Nov. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Lannerd will be sitting in the lower ward of Windsor Castle with 1,000 other guests including the royal house, those who work for the queen, people with Harry and Meghan's charities and people who have been nominated to be there.

Those guests won't get to see the ceremony while it's happening, but they'll get to tour the chapel after the wedding.

Lannerd has in recent years been able to turn his obsession into a way of life. His primary source of income is being the tour director for Transcendent Travel.

He leads exclusive, luxury tours through Europe and North America. His own experiences have made him more than qualified to provide special excursions.

To see the list of 2018 tours Lannerd is leading, click here.

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