April 28, 2011 / 9:28 AM / 8 years ago

Hunger strike Mexican clings to royal wedding hope

MADRID (Reuters) - A Mexican teenager who went on hunger strike to wangle an invitation to the royal wedding is now in Spain with little cash, even less time but plenty of determination to get to London for the big event on Friday.

A woman runs past Mexican teenager Estibalis Chavez posing with the portrait she painted of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton in central Madrid April 27, 2011. REUTERS/Susana Vera

Estibalis Chavez, 19, ended her 16-day hunger strike outside the British embassy in Mexico City in February when lobbyist Octavio Fitch Lazo purchased a ticket for her to fly to London.

But she was turned away by British immigration officials because she could not provide an address to show where she would be staying in England and did not have the money for a hotel.

She is staying at a youth hostel in Madrid, where she had a stopover on her trip back to Mexico.

“I have spent nights in the airport. I haven’t had anything to eat some days, I have struggled to survive and now I will try to make it back to England,” Chavez told Reuters outside the Mexican embassy in Madrid.

“All this effort is worth it if I make it to London.”

Chavez said a new-found Facebook friend, who wanted to remain anonymous, had promised to wire her money to buy a ticket back to London and she had also found a place to stay with a Mexican citizen in England.

She displayed a painting she had made of Prince William and Kate Middleton and said her interest in the couple and their upcoming nuptials sprang from her deceased mother’s interest in Princess Diana, William’s late mother.

But she planned to leave the painting in Madrid because she said she believed it alarmed immigration authorities last week and set off the questioning that led to her being denied entry.

“I hope they don’t consider me a danger. I simply want to attend the wedding and I don’t intend to bother anybody,” said Chavez, who was travelling with one small bag of clothes.

An immigration spokesman in London declined to comment on Chavez’s case.

Chavez said she still had a chance to get to the church, or at least to stand outside the church, on time.

Writing by Fiona Ortiz, editing by Paul Casciato

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