No royal wedding for Mexican teen as British authorities send her home

MEXICO CITY — Estibalis Chavez staged a hunger strike and flew twice to London in her quest to see Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot.

But there was no fairy tale ending Friday for the Mexican teenager, whose widely publicized desperate quest drew both sympathy and scorn from her countrymen.

Chavez, 19, said British immigration officials in London turned her away at the airport Thursday, saying she didn’t have enough money for a safe place to stay for her trip. Officials gave a similar reason for deporting her when she first tried to enter Britain on April 22.

“They didn’t let me enter because they thought I was crazy,” Chavez told The Associated Press by telephone Friday from Spain.

Chavez staged a hunger strike outside the British Embassy in Mexico City for 16 days in a failed bid to wrangle an invitation to the wedding. She was ultimately rejected outside the embassy with a letter from a representative of Prince William.

Although many Mexicans mocked Chavez, one man, lobbyist Octavio Fitch Lazo, was moved by her determination and paid for her first plane ticket to London.

Chavez has said her fascination with Britain’s royals dates back to her childhood. Her father, Pedro Chavez, told her that her mother, who died giving birth to Chavez, adored the late Princess Diana, Prince William’s mother.

The teenager said she caught parts of the wedding on television but couldn’t bear to watch the whole thing.

She said she now regrets her drastic bid for an invite.

“I made myself seem crazy,” Chavez said. “If I hadn’t gone on the hunger strike, maybe I could have entered England.”

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