Ming’s brush with a royal dynasty

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A MAN from Hemel Hempstead was chosen to carry the Olympic Flame in front of Buckingham Palace – handing over in front of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

Wai-Ming Lee, known to everyone as Ming, lives in the Old Town.

Ming who carried the torch outside Buckingham Palace as a representative of MapAction

Ming who carried the torch outside Buckingham Palace as a representative of MapAction

The 38-year-old was selected to carry the torch on behalf of charity MapAction, whose patron is Prince Harry.

Ming carried the torch in front of the palace – and thousands of spectators and the world’s media – on Thursday, passing the relay on in front of Princes William and Harry, and the Duchess of Cambridge.

He said: “It was pretty exciting, definitely a day to remember.

“I was honoured to be chosen although I only found out about a week before.

“I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was told to walk, take my time and really enjoy the moment.”

MapAction specialises in providing specialist maps of disaster zones, detailing which areas most need specific types of aid.

Ming first went out to a disaster zone in Sri Lanka in 2004 in the wake of the Boxing Day tsunami.

Since then he has been to many others including Haiti following the hurricane and earthquakes, and the floods in Pakistan.

He said: “It makes you really, really, really glad that you’re in a country that’s tectonically stable, politcally stable, with a stable water supply.”

Ming uses his skills as a GIS map specialist in his day job for his volunteer role with MapAction.

To find out about the charity’s work, visit www.mapaction.org