THE family of a baby who died of meningitis had a royal audience.

Katy Mann, formerly of Shepley, and her father Ian Watkinson, were among guests at a reception with the Countess of Wessex.

The countess Sophie is the patron of The Meningitis Trust and she praised the work done by officials.

Katy set up a moving blog when her baby son Charlie died of the disease aged just 15 weeks in October last year.

Last Friday would have been his first birthday.

Since his death, the blog has attracted worldwide attention and also helped the family raise more than £12,500 for meningitis research.

Katy chatted to the countess about the campaign and about how she plans to carry on with the appeal.

“We never realised it would get this far, but we are determined to carry on and see where it takes us. The funds we raise are so vital but so too is the awareness of meningitis.”

A spokesman for the trust said: “When we were arranging the guest list for our open day to celebrate our 25th anniversary, Katy immediately came to mind.

“What Katy and her husband Chris have been through is tragic and they know we will always be here for them”.