A Year 6 pupil from Upton Heath CE Primary School hoping for a royal command performance has settled for a letter from a future king.

William Wright is part of the marketing team of the school’s performance of Shakespeare’s Richard III at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Monday, November 10.

The performance is part of the national Shakespeare Schools Festival and William and fellow pupils have written to dignitaries and VIPs inviting them to the theatre.

William wrote to his namesake Prince William, who is not a direct descendant of the Plantagenet king whose remains were discovered under a car park in Leicester in 2012.

Teacher Dave Johnson said: “William said that he would like to write to Prince William ‘as he has the same name as me’ so he wrote to the palace inviting him to attend.

“William was over the moon when he received a reply from Kensington Palace. There was great excitement in the classroom when he opened it and read out the reply.”

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The letter, from Laura Osbaldeston, assistant private secretary to HRH The Duke of Cambridge, said that Prince William was ‘extremely grateful’ for the invitation but ‘reluctantly feels that he has to decline’.

She explained that the duke’s diary for the rest of the year has already been confirmed but added that he ‘wishes you and everyone at Upton Heath School the very best for your play.’

The children also invited Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie, Cllr Jill Houlbrook, the team at BBC Newsround and Stephen Mosley MP.

William and his classmates will not be too disappointed as the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Chester have confirmed their attendance, as has Chester FC manager Steve Burr who has promised to bring some of the Blues players along with him.

The production of Richard III is on Monday, November 10, at 7pm and involves a cast of 30, backed by a marketing team of 26. The lead role will be shared by Georgia Broomfield and Maddy Page.