RAF personnel prepare for special Royal wedding ceremonial duties
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The Flight Sergeant's commands bellowed out in a military hangar as RAF personnel prepare for ceremonial duties at the Royal wedding.
More than 250 members of the Armed Forces have been chosen to offer support at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19.
The lucky few from RAF Honington in Suffolk will line the streets of Windsor during the carriage procession.
With just over a week to go the 26 personnel, in their smart number one uniforms and polished boots, follow the commands of Flight Sergeant Richard 'Brom' Bromwell during their first drill practice.
'Don't move if you make a mistake,' his voice echoes. 'Stand still or people will notice.'
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Each individual will have their uniforms closely inspected by FS Bromwell and Flight Lieutenant Jess Donnelly, who will be the parade commander leading the half company at the wedding.
'I think every officer wanted this position,' she said. 'I feel lucky to be selected.'
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Personnel at the station were asked to volunteer for the special occasion. After hundreds put their names forward, it was whittled down to 26.
'We really wanted a good mix of station personnel and a mixture of ranks,' said Station Warrant Officer Sonya Darbyshire.
One of the specially selected personnel is 31-year-old Leading Aircraftman Umed Rai, who had only graduated two weeks ago. 'I feel lucky, kind of like blessed to be part of this since I just graduated,' he said. 'It's been a really big surprise for me.'
For Senior Aircraftman Ashleigh Steedman, 32, it will be the second time she will meet Prince Harry.
Last year Prince Harry, who is the Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington, opened the new medical centre at the station where SAC Steedman works. She said: 'It was amazing, definitely a highlight. Prince Harry, with him being in the military and the way he comes across, he is very relatable. 'I recently got married myself and I love a wedding.'
Norfolk-born Corporal Andrew 'Crouchy' Herbert, 39, from Carbrooke near Watton, said it was the sense of pride that made him want to volunteer for the special event.
'I love the Royal family and I'm from a line of royalists,' he added. 'My sister works for the Thames Valley Police so she will also be there in her uniform.'
• Don't miss the Eastern Daily Press for a week-long series of souvenir supplements to mark the Royal Wedding. Starting on Monday we will look back on previous Royal Weddings through the years. Friday and Saturday's supplements will tell you all you need to know about the big day itself, meanwhile on Monday you can enjoy our 16-page picture special. At the end, all of our supplements can be put together to make one big 52-page souvenir.