Sheffield's 'Captain' Tobias enjoys tea with royals at Buckingham Palace garden party

Sheffield’s-own ‘Captain’ Tobias says he “felt like royalty” after meeting the Royal Family at the first garden party at Buckingham Palace since 2019.

Friday, 13th May 2022, 8:44 am
Updated Friday, 13th May 2022, 8:44 am

Tobias Weller, aged 11, has already raised more than £150,000 for charity by completing two marathons and a gruelling triathlon including a 112-mile tricycle ride, and earlier this year he became the youngest winner of the British Empire Medal.

In his latest adventure, the indomitable lad met with the Princess Royal, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall after taking up an invitation to Buckingham Palace.

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Sheffield's own fundraising legends 'Captain' Tobias Weller was invited to Buckingham Palace for the first royal tea party since 2019.

Tobias said: “It was amazing. I still can’t believe it’s true and I actually got to go to Buckingham Palace.

“I met all the royals who were there and spoke to every one of them – Charles, Camilla and Anne.”

“I chatted to them all but Anne was my favourite. We chatted about her winning Sports Personality of the Year in 1971.”

In December 2020, Tobias, who has cerebral palsy and autism, won the inaugural Captain Sir Tom Moore Young Unsung Hero Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event.

His exploits in raising more than £157,000 for Paces School, where he is a student, and The Children’s Hospital Charity, in his home town of Sheffield, saw him become the youngest person on record to feature in the Honours list when it was announced he is to receive the British Empire Medal.

On his outing at the palace, Tobias was even given a go at directing the on-hand brass band after the conductor handed him the baton.

Tobias said: “Lots of people recognised me and congratulated me on my fundraising. It made me feel magnificent.

“I totally felt like royalty, it was such a magical afternoon.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, garden parties at the Queen’s home had not been held for three years.

The Queen was not in attendance due to her mobility issues.

Tobias said he is now making final preparations for his latest fundraising event, which is called Tobias in the Park and is a campaign to make playgrounds more accessible to children with disabilities.

He is asking everyone and anyone to travel 1km – or as far as they can manage – in any way that is challenging to them.

He said he will be launching the event and completing his kilometre on May 21 using his walker in Endcliffe Park and stressed that he will be “chuffed to bits” if other people can do it whenever they wish from May 21-28.

“I have had messages from people in Australia, New Zealand and even the Maldives who are going to join in and help me raise awareness of the lack of inclusive playgrounds,” Tobias said.

“But if you want to raise money for your own local charity, that’s great too. Just make sure you share photos or videos with me, please. Let’s make this massive.”

Tobias was nicknamed ‘Captain’ after he was inspired by his hero Captain Sir Tom Moore to start raising money during the pandemic lockdowns.

Tobias’s most recent challenge involved an Ironman, completed over the course of a year, involving 180km on his trike, a 4km swim and running the length of a full marathon.

Anyone who wants to find out more about Tobias in the Park, or donate to help make playgrounds more accessible, can find more information at www.tobiasinthepark.co.uk.