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27 April 2011, 06:00
A Royal Navy sailor from Hertfordshire, who claims to be a third cousin of Kate Middleton, has been chosen to line the steps of Westminster Abbey as part of a military guard of honour for the royal wedding.
Able seaman Dennis Brown will be among a select few to have been picked as "path liners" whose role is to guard the entrance of the church.
The Royal Naval reservist, who only found out his family connection with the future princess a few weeks ago, could be in the background of historic photographs as the Royal pair leave the abbey for the first time as a married couple.
AB Brown's role was unveiled yesterday (Tuesday April 26th) as the Royal Navy showed off its preparations for its street-lining duties and rehearsals by the Band of the Royal Marines, Collingwood.
A total of 120 street liners have been rehearsing during the Easter period at HMS Collingwood training facility in Fareham, Hampshire, which features the largest parade ground in Europe.
AB Brown, who says he shares a great-great-grandfather with Miss Middleton, said he was proud to be part of the big day.
And he said it would be an extra special occasion for him as it would be the first wedding he had ever attended.
The 39-year-old who lives in St Albans, and is originally from Brisbane, Australia, and who previously served in the Australian navy and air force, said: "I have never been to a wedding before so it's pretty big, it's going to be pretty special.
"I just found out in the past couple of weeks about the link with Kate Middleton and I couldn't believe it, it's just by chance that I was chosen to be lining the steps of Westminster Abbey.
"I have always been interested in researching family trees and it so happens a Google search has turned up this.''
He said he hoped Miss Middleton would appreciate the fact that she also had relatives in Australia.
He said: "I would like to say to her: 'You have relatives in Australia and you are very welcome to call on us'.''
AB Brown's cousin Alison Ivison, from Fareham, Hampshire, who discovered the royal link, explained that they shared a great-great-grandfather, Theophilus Benjamin Chandler, with Miss Middleton.
And also, their grandmother, Edith May Chandler, was a cousin of Miss Middleton's grandfather, Ronald John James Goldsmith.
She said this made them third cousins.
The 50-year-old said: "It's surreal. I was researching the family tree and I had got stuck on Miles Tugwell Chandler, our great-great-great-grandfather, so I Googled it and it came up as Kate Middleton's ancestry.
"I thought, 'I don't want this' and then realised I did want this. I found it highly amusing.
"Our grandmother used to think Kate was a lovely girl so she would have loved to have known they were related.
"We will be watching it on television to keep an eye on Dennis, to make sure he doesn't let us down."