Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) volunteer and staff member Guy Addington, from Margate, says he is “astonishingly proud” to be given the opportunity to attend the funeral service of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday (September 19).
Guy is one of almost 200 key workers and volunteers recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours in June who have been invited to attend Monday’s ceremony in Westminster Abbey.
Guy, 44, was awarded The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his extraordinary contributions and service to people across Kent and the country in his RNLI role.
As a volunteer lifeboat crew member for more than a quarter of a century, he has launched 326 times on service, 320 times on exercise, aided 378 people and helped to save 13 lives.
As a member of the RNLI’s water safety team, Guy has made contributions to the charity’s lifesaving work, being involved in, or leading programmes that have prevented lives being lost in and around water.
He says: “It came totally out of the blue. I got a call from the Cabinet Office last Saturday saying ‘would you like to go to the funeral.’ I was totally gobsmacked.”
Guy will be travelling to London tomorrow (September 18) so he has time to see the Mall, floral tributes, The Queue and take in “that moment in history.”
Guy previously met Queen Elizabeth II when she visited Margate, including the RNLI station, in 2011. He said: “It was incredible. I had thought it would be fantastic to meet her again but of course this last week has been tinged with sadness.
“I am deeply honoured and very lucky and privileged as well as feeling a touch guilty as there must be millions of people equally or more deserving than myself But the stars aligned and I have an amazing opportunity to offer my condolences to the Royal family for their loss.
“It will be very touching and moving.”
Guy received his official invite through the post this morning,
The State Funeral
The Queen’s funeral will be held at Westminster Abbey on Monday, at 11am.
It will be conducted by the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle Dean of Westminster, while the sermon will be preached by the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury.
A two-minute silence will be held at 11.55am and the funeral will conclude at noon.
Following the funeral, the Queen’s coffin will travel in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then on to Windsor.
A committal service will be held at St George’s Chapel, which is within the walls of Windsor Castle, at 4pm.
Thanet Scouts assisting people in London to pay respects to Queen
Two Thanet Scouts are among the 120 Scouts from across the UK volunteering to support everyone who aare paying their respects to Queen Elizabeth II at
There are 6 Kent Scouts and these are Charlotte Burring and Nirav Patel from Thanet and Amy Childs, Tonbridge ; Ed Brackley, Medway Towns; Adam Ray, Malling and Amber Patrick, Gravesham.
The youngsters are helping visitors with accessibility needs and supporting those waiting many hours in the long queue.
They are split up between three sites – the Tate Britain Art Gallery to help visitors with accessibility needs, Archbishop’s Park to help with flowers and visitors’ bag drops, and Victoria Tower Gardens to help with the growing queue of mourners.
Birchington councillor among first in ‘The Queue’
One of the first people in the now famous Queue of people waiting to pay their respects to the Queen as she lies in state in Westminster Hall was Birchington councillor Linda Wright.
The 72-year-old arrived early Tuesday evening and spent the night waiting to be allowed to pay her respects.
Cllr Wright says she was the 28th person to be admitted.
She said: “A little group of us camped out. We were the first group so I guess we led the procession. It was amazing.
“It was raining and everyone was helping everyone else. The reporter from the Times ordered pizza to ‘the Embankment’ and the lady from The Sun brought a tent.
“When the sun came up it made me feel that the Queen was still working and bringing people together, working her magic.
“We were the first group in. You go through ‘airport’ security. When you go in it is very quiet It was very moving and emotional, my eyes are just beginning to feel like my eyes again!”
The Queue, which stretches along the River Thames to Southwark Park, currently has a waiting time of 16.5 hours.
A sweet tribute in Westgate
A tribute to Queen Elizabeth II has been created by business owner Nicola Bradshaw, of Westgate’s Little Brown Fairy Cake.
She has created a ‘life-size’ Paddington Bear – in reference to the sketch during the Platinum Jubilee, when the monarch and the bear made an unlikely but heartwarming pair.
Paddington is made of icing on polystyrene. The polystyrene inner was necessary because the ‘cake’ had to be made in just one day. He now forms the window display in the bakery and shop in Station Road.
Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral is being screened at venues across Thanet including Vue at Westwood, Carlton Cinema in Westgate, The Chapel bar in Broadstairs, RBL clubs in Ramsgate and Minster and a number of isle pubs.