Royal wedding: “Ninja Nun’s” footwear is just a force of habit

PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 May 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire


A Suffolk-born nun has found unexpected fame for her choice of footwear at the Royal wedding.

Annaliese Brogden, who was raised in Bramford and Needham Market, has become the subject of national media speculation after being photographed sitting next to Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton, now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, wearing a pair of comfortable trainers.

The internet was awash with rumours of Sister Annaliese’s role at Friday’s ceremony, with some musing she may be an MI5 agent tasked with protecting the royal heir and dubbing her the “Ninja Nun.”

But the truth is more straightforward, according to the 52-year-old former Claydon High School pupil’s father. Geoffrey Brogden, who still lives in Needham Market, was quick to play down theories but admitted seeing the funny side.

“She wore the trainers for comfort and always has,” he said. “It has all caused great amusement here and at the convent. In fact, I was more shocked to see the Prime Minister’s wife not wearing a hat.”

Some had been convinced her proximity to the Prince, coupled with her poised posture and choice of black trainer, denoted a connection to sovereign security but Sister Annaliese’s cousin Gita Banerji also moved to quash speculation, saying: “They think she’s MI5 and are calling her the ‘Ninja Nun.’

“I knew she was invited to the Royal wedding, but was surprised and gratified to see when William and Kate sat down that she was in the seat right next to them.”

Sister Annaliese spent 12 years at St Paul’s Church, Bristol, before becoming one of two Chaplains to the Staff within the Community of the Sister of the Church. Since then she has played an important role in several high-profile events at Westminster Abbey, including last year’s papal visit.

Mr Brogden, 80, said: “I’m very proud. I don’t think any of us envisioned it happening. Our family are actually very interesting religiously.

“I am a Quaker, my wife a Methodist, Annaliese is Anglican and my other daughter is Roman Catholic.”

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