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