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A South Florida boy received a package straight from Buckingham Palace after a chance encounter with Prince Harry in Washington, D.C. NBC 6's Christina Hernandez spoke with Juan Dada about his new royal friend.
A South Florida boy received a special letter from Buckingham Palace after a chance encounter with Prince Harry in Washington, D.C.
Juan Dada, 12, met the prince weeks earlier when on a class trip to Washington, DC. For Dada, the May trip almost didn't happen because the Boca Raton middle schooler couldn't walk.
"I stepped on a clam and I got 10 stitches on my foot, so I didn't think I could go," he said.
Stan Perlmutter, owner of About Thrift Store where Dada's mother volunteers, donated a wheelchair so the boy could make his trip.
"We happen to have a portable wheelchair, so I said, 'Marta, take the wheelchair. They'll wheel him around,'" Perlmutter said.
That wheelchair is what caught Prince Harry's attention when the two were at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the same time.
"He came up to me and said, 'What happened' and I told him and then he shook my hand and said hi," Dada said.
His mom Marta Perez remembers her son's excitement.
"He said, 'Prince Harry! He was there! He shook my hand! He said hi to me mommy. I can't believe it! I can't believe it!' It was beautiful listening to him talking in that way," Perez said.
Then, a letter from Buckingham Palace arrived at the thrift store.
"The mailman came in and said, 'What did you guys do wrong?' I said, 'Why.' He said, 'I have a letter here from Buckingham Palace,'" Perlmutter said.
It arrived two weeks after Perlmutter made a few calls to the British Embassy.
He told officials that the boy was now Prince Harry's number one fan and asked if there was someway he could get something as a remembrance.
"I didn't think it was from Prince Harry until I read the title," Dada said. "At first I thought my parents were playing a prank on me.
To Perlmutter, Dada said, "Thank you. I was really happy."
It was a chance meeting that happened after stepping on a seashell. Now, Dada said every time he looks at the scar on his foot, he will think of Prince Harry.