The UK Armed Forces have led the Platinum Jubilee Pageant in London today, the final event of the four-day official celebrations of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Representing a variety of regiments, ships and air stations that enjoy a special relationship with Her Majesty The Queen, around 1,800 regular and reserve soldiers, sailors, marines, and aviators, as well as musicians from Armed Forces bands, took part in the event.
Leading the Pageant in the opening section titled ‘For Queen and Country’, members of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force treated crowds of thousands to a display of military timing and precision.
The Royal Navy was represented by personnel from across the Naval service and the Royal Marines, including sailors from HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Lancaster. Music for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines marching detachments was supported by The Band of HM Royal Marines from the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) and The Band of HM Royal Marines Collingwood.
Member of the Royal Navy ceremonial guard, Able Rate Olivia Gray said:
“It has been exciting and such a special day, being a part of something that could potentially never happen again.”
The British Army, of which many units have special affiliations to HM The Queen, was represented by soldiers from The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, The Royal Tank Regiment, The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, The Adjutant General’s Corps, The Royal Irish Regiment, The 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh, The Royal Regiment of the Artillery, Honourable Artillery Company, The Royal Lancers and The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.
British Army musicians from across the service also came together providing music along the pageant route, featuring the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Band,
Planning for the British Army contingent of the pageant, Household Division Garrison Sergeant Major Warrant Officer Class One Andrew Stokes said:
“Although the training has been a challenge with so many Soldiers, Sailors, Aviators, and Commonwealth Troops involved, the Nation had spilled out to celebrate Her Majesty’s achievement. It has been an experience that will live with me forever and I am glad that all of the service personnel involved in the pageant managed to share a similar experience.”
Personnel from across the Royal Air Force also formed marching detachments as part of the parade which included representatives from the RAF Regiment and RAF Marham, of which HM The Queen enjoys a close relationship. Music for the RAF marching detachments was provided by 112 musicians from The Combined Bands of the Royal Air Force.
Member of the RAF marching detachment, Squadron Leader Derek Read said:
“It’s a great honour to have represented the Royal Air Force in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, helping to tell the story of her remarkable 70-year reign.”
Armed Forces personnel from across the Commonwealth also took part in the parade, competing the first section of the pageant. Representatives from 21 countries took part from Australia, The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Fiji, Guyana, Jamaica, Lesotho, Malaysia, Maldives, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Tonga and Uganda.
Rear guide of the Australian pageant contingent, Sgt Mark Vearing said:
“I was honoured and privileged to have marched in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant which commemorates Her Majesty’s 70 years of selfless service to the United Kingdom, Australia and the Commonwealth nations. It was the highlight of my 29 years of service to the Australian Defence Force.”
Featuring over 5,000 from across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, the pageant is the culmination of official Platinum Jubilee celebrations taking place 2-5 June and celebrated heritage, culture, and the arts from over the last 70 years.
Armed Forces personnel have taken part in all four days of the Platinum Jubilee events, supporting in both ceremonial and musical roles.