Majestic moment marching alongside royal coach

On one of the biggest days of their lives, 22-year-old Corporal Tegan Ross and 28-year-old Bombardier Michael Nona did not put a step wrong.

CAPTION: Their Majesties The King and Queen travel past Parliament Square in the Gold State Coach, flanked by 18 representatives of the Commonwealth, including Royal Australian Air Force Corporal Tegan Ross and Australian Army Bombardier Michael Nona from Australia’s Federation Guard (second in line on both sides). Photo by AS1 Ryan Murray RAF. UK MOD © Crown copyright 2023.

Standing proud, they were both selected to be one of the 16 personnel marching alongside the Gold State Coach carrying the newly-crowned King and Queen during the Coronation Procession for Their Majesties.

“It was everything I thought it would be and more,” Corporal Ross said.

The atmosphere surrounding The Mall was electric. The cheering of the crowd was something the contingent never could have prepared for.

Governor-General of Australia His Excellency General (Retd) the Honourable David Hurley talks with Australia's Federation Guard members, Bombardier Michael Nona and Corporal Tegan Ross, outside Australia House in London ahead of the Coronation Procession.
Governor-General of Australia His Excellency General (Retd) the Honourable David Hurley talks with Australia’s Federation Guard members, Bombardier Michael Nona and Corporal Tegan Ross, outside Australia House in London ahead of the Coronation Procession.

“It was amazing to hear groups in the crowd yelling ‘Hip Hip Hooray’ in synchronisation as we marched past with the King and Queen,” Corporal Ross said.

The mood felt similar for Squadron Leader Mitchell Brown, the Contingent Commander leading the marching Australians.

“The most powerful moment was when the Coronation Gun Salute rang out, marking the crowning of the King,” Squadron Leader Brown said.

“The masses lining The Mall echoed ‘God Save The King’ in a hurrah.”

Corporal Ross admitted she was nervous as she marched alongside the Gold State Coach, not daring to make one wrong move or take an un-rehearsed glance at the King and Queen.

“I was so focused on my drill, and then I thought, ‘Wow, I am really doing this’,” Corporal Ross said.

“It was raining down, but it didn’t dampen my spirits at all. It was just an extraordinary day.

“The whole march itself has been an extremely proud moment of mine. I will cherish it for the rest of my life.”

Taking that first step into the King’s Coronation Procession also raised nerves in the usually calm and cool Bombardier in the hours leading up to the big event, knowing there would be millions of people watching across the globe.

“[But] it all came together with the crowd, atmosphere and the flyover – it was something else,” Bombardier Nona said.

Having delivered the King and Queen’s Gold State Coach to the Palace, the two lucky Australians watched on as senior members of the Royal Family also completed the procession.

In Buckingham Palace’s gardens, they joined the 6000 other military members to give three cheers to the King.

“I felt the three cheers in my chest,” Bombardier Nona said.

“The first cheer alone just echoed off all the buildings at the Palace, it was pretty amazing to be there.

“I will walk away from the experience remembering the crowd cheering for King Charles.”

 

Australia's Federation Guard members Bombardier Michael Nona and Corporal Tegan Ross before the Coronation of His Majesty The King. Photo by Sergeant Andrew Sleeman.
Australia’s Federation Guard members Bombardier Michael Nona and Corporal Tegan Ross before the Coronation of His Majesty The King. Photo by Sergeant Andrew Sleeman.

 


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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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