RAN Members to Guard Queen’s Pageant

RAN Members to Guard Queen’s Pageant

Four members of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) are preparing to face an audience of two billion people on Sunday, following an invitation to participate in this weekend’s Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Pageant in London.

The four will form a ceremonial “Guard” around Her Majesty, during one of the biggest flotillas ever assembled on the Thames.

They will be there at the special invitation of the United Kingdom’s most senior Naval Officer, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB OBE ADC, the First Sea Lord. Australia is among only three Commonwealth Nations (Australia, Canada, and New Zealand) participating in the Queen’s Pageant.

All four RAN members (one Junior Officer and three Sailors) will be embarked in one of four Royal Marine Offshore Raider Craft vessels. The Australian White Ensign will also be flown in the vessel carrying the Australian contingent.

The Flotilla will proceed from Chelsea Harbour making its way up the Thames to Tower Bridge, where the Queen will depart and inspect the Royal Guard at HMS President.

Lieutenant Kate Munari, from Sydney, is a Naval Pilot who is currently on exchange, flying with the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force.

“This is a huge honour for all of us,” Kate said. “We have always had a close relationship with the British armed forces and I have seen the benefits of those ties during my time here. But to be asked to take part in this event is an incredible privilege.”

Able Seaman Clearance Diver Alan Bone, from Brisbane is also looking forward to the big day. “This is a great opportunity to represent our country and our Navy. It is also good to be part of an historic event such as this.”

The BBC has said it will be the biggest event they have ever televised with over two billion people expected to tune in from across the globe – that is a larger world wide TV audience than last year’s Royal Wedding.

The RAN Officer and Sailors selected to participate are:

  • LEUT Kate Munari from Sydney, a Naval pilot flying with the UK’s Commando Helicopter Force, who has completed a number of operational deployments to Afghanistan with British forces.
  • Leading Seaman Combat System Operator Joshua Gould from Sydney.
  • Able Seaman Clearance Diver Alan Bone from Brisbane.
  • Able Seaman Clearance Diver Luke Neil from Perth.

The three sailors are currently part of Exercise Long Look. Exercise Long Look is an exchange conducted annually involving all three military services from the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

Naval Today Staff, June 1, 2012; Image: Australian Navy