Britain’s Defence Services Secretary, Major General Eldon Millar, has thanked Australian and Commonwealth troops taking part in Saturday’s Coronation Procession at a special ceremony at Pirbright Army Training Centre in south-west England.
More than 600 soldiers, sailors and aviators from 39 Commonwealth countries form the contingent that will lead the Procession from Westminster Abbey down The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
In addition, 18 military members representing The Realms – including Australia – will be marching alongside the newly crowned King and Queen in the 260-year-old Gold State Coach.
The contingent marched onto the Pirbright parade ground in front of the world’s media before being presented with a special commemorative coin marking the Coronation of King Charles III.
“Thank you all so much for making the journey here and for being a part of this historic event – your role in The Coronation is an incredibly important and significant one,” Major General Millar said.
The Defence Services Secretary is the senior member of the Royal Household responsible for liaising between the King and the UK Armed Forces.
About 40 members of Australia’s Federation Guard representing the three arms of the Australian Defence Force will march in the procession.
Contingent Commander, Squadron Leader Mitchell Brown, says the members are ready.
“Our team has done a huge amount of training – up to 70 kilometres of marching since we arrived last week,” Squadron Leader Brown said.
“While it’s hard work, I’ve been deeply impressed by the commitment and professionalism of all our soldiers, sailors and aviators – they will do Australia proud.”
The entire Commonwealth contingent has been based at Pirbright Army Training Centre, southwest of London, as they did for the coronations of King George VI in 1937 and Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.