Under a bright blue spring sky, members of Australia’s Federation Guard joined thousands of British and Commonwealth troops preparing for this weekend’s Coronation of King Charles III.
CAPTION: Australia’s Federation Guard members march past Old College during a rehearsal for the Coronation of King Charles III, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Story by Lieutenant Commander John Thompson. Photo by Sergeant Andrew Sleeman.
Representing the Australian Army, Royal Australian Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, the 40-member ADF contingent flew in to London late last week from Anzac Day commemoration services in France, Turkiye and Australia.
Contingent Commander Squadron Leader Mitchell Brown said the troops were excited and proud to be taking part.
“It is an enormous privilege to have been asked to be a part of this contingent – we are all keen to do Australia proud during this important and historic occasion,” Squadron Leader Brown said.
The contingent will benefit from the experience of Warrant Officer Ceremonial Ivan Petrovic.
“I was here for the Jubilee celebrations and marched during the Queen’s funeral,” Warrant Officer Petrovic said.
“I’m humbled by the opportunity to be able to march in the King’s Coronation Procession.”
The contingent has hit the ground running alongside counterparts from across the 56-member Commonwealth, practising their marching movements in readiness for the big day.
In all, 4000 serving men and women will take part in the procession from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace on 6 May with a further 2000 personnel lining the procession route.
Over the past weekend, the Australians – along with the 4000 other marchers – trained at the historic Royal Military College at Sandhurst.
A full daylight dress rehearsal was also held at RAF Odiham, south-west of London.
Head of Australian Defence Force Staff in the UK Brigadier Grant Mason said the Australian contingent felt the moment of history approaching.
“Some of our soldiers, sailors and aviators may be feeling a little nervous knowing the eyes of the world will be on them in a few days, but we should have absolutely no doubt they will do us all proud,” Brigadier Mason said.