The opera singer devised a plan to get Matt Thorpe, 42, who is also her tour photographer, and his girlfriend Catherine Hammill, 30, on the stage during one of her shows at the historic venue. She pretended to have trouble taking a selfie with the audience and asked Matt and his girlfriend, who helps as his photographic assistant, to step in.
After taking the picture, Katherine then handed the microphone to Matt so he could deliver his surprise proposal at the concert in December. He has now become the only person in nearly 150 years to have proposed on the main stage at the Royal Albert Hall.
Matt, who works as a fireman in Huntingdon, Cambs, and also as a music photographer, said: “Catherine and I go to a lot of music concerts together, I usually do the photos and she writes reviews, and it is a big part of our lives so I thought it would be good to propose at a concert. Catherine loves the Royal Albert Hall and when I saw Katherine Jenkins was going to be performing there I got in touch to ask what she thought about me proposing there. She got very excited and said she wanted to make it special. She then contacted me and told me it was going to be part of the show and she would come up with a plan to get us on stage.”
Matt, who has worked with Katherine for five years as her official tour photographer, said he was very nervous about proposing in front of so many people. He added: “We got told before the show that she would be asking us on stage to take a photo and I handed Catherine my flash gun. She was concerned as the flash didn’t actually go off and my hands were shaking as I took the photo as I was so nervous. I was also worried the microphone wouldn’t work, but it all went well. Afterwards everyone was congratulating me and trying to shake my hand but I had to carry on taking photos.”
Matt met Catherine, who is a fire inspector, three years ago and they are hoping to get married in the Lake District in September. After the proposal he tweeted: “Last night with help from my friend @KathJenkins I proposed to my Girlfriend/Photo Assistant on stage at @RoyalAlbertHall in front of 4000 people! Code words were used backstage to keep this secret and my Catherine had no idea what was about to happen.”
It was revealed this month that Katherine Jenkins is the biggest selling classical artist of the century.