Princess Anne visits Portsmouth Naval Base to offer personal thanks to Royal Navy sailors involved in Queen’s funeral

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Princess Anne visits Portsmouth Naval Base to offer personal thanks to Royal Navy sailors involved in Queen’s funeral

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Her Royal Highness Princess Anne spoke to the men and women about their role hauling the State Ceremonial Gun Carriage bearing the Queen’s coffin and lining the streets of London and Windsor.

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More than a thousand sailors and Royal Marines were on duty at the funeral on Monday, alongside RAF and British Army personnel.

Britain’s Princess Anne (C), Princess Royal, as Commodore-in-Chief Portsmouth, meets with members of the Royal Marines Band, who took part in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession, at Portsmouth Naval Base on September 22, 2022. (Photo by Andrew Matthews / POOL / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Leading engineering technician (LET) Benjamin Tetley was one of 142 sailors responsible for pulling the gun carriage.

‘It was an honour to meet Her Royal Highness Princess Anne,’ he said.

‘It was a lovely personal touch that she came down in person to thank personnel involved.

‘I was really honoured to be involved in carrying the gun carriage, I don’t think there’s a more personal part to have played. Everyone had a sense of purpose and put all their effort in.

Britain’s Princess Anne (2ndR), Princess Royal, as Commodore-in-Chief Portsmouth, meets with Royal Navy personnel, who took part in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession, at Portsmouth Naval Base on September 22, 2022. Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

‘The Royal Navy is steeped in tradition and we helped upkeep that. To be part of that history and tradition is truly an honour.’

LET Tim Lavender, based at HMS Sultan in nearby Gosport, managed a team of nine sailors working on the gun crew movement and management.

He added: ‘I felt very honoured. If you put the Royal Navy and us sailors under pressure, we come together and we get the job done.

Aircraft engineer Connor Scotney was a street liner in Windsor. He said: ‘I felt honoured that the Princess Royal took the time out to thank us for all we did.

Britain’s Princess Anne (C), Princess Royal, as Commodore-in-Chief Portsmouth, meets with Royal Navy personnel, who took part in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession, at Portsmouth Naval Base on September 22, 2022. Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

‘My family are all very proud of me and the part I played in the funeral.’

More than 130 sailors from HMS Collingwood pulled and escorted the gun carriage that beared Her Majesty from Westminster Hall to the funeral service in Westminster Abbey, and then to Wellington Arch, at Hyde Park Corner.

Sailors and staff at the naval base in Fareham spent four days undergoing gruelling 12-hour drills on the parade square in preparation for their role in the state funeral.

Britain’s Princess Anne (R), Princess Royal, as Commodore-in-Chief Portsmouth, meets with Royal Navy personnel, who took part in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession, at Portsmouth Naval Base on September 22, 2022. Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Manning the gun carriage placed the crew in a tradition that stretches back more than 120 years.

Britain’s Princess Anne (C), Princess Royal, as Commodore-in-Chief Portsmouth, meets with Royal Navy personnel, who took part in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession, at Portsmouth Naval Base on September 22, 2022. Photo by ANDREW MATTHEWS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
PORTSMOUTH, UNITED KINGDOM – SEPTEMBER 22: Princess Anne, Princess Royal, as Commodore-in-Chief Portsmouth, meets Royal Navy personnel as she visits Portsmouth Naval Base to meet and thank members of the armed forces involved in her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on September 22, 2022 in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. photo by Andrew Matthews-Pool/Getty Images

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