The sailor said his “privilege” played an important role in the Queen’s funeral procession.
Lieutenant Commander Michael ‘Mike’ Bray, of Hamble, was one of the Royal Navy personnel on the gun carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin.
The 46-year-old said it was a moment that “can never be recreated” and said he was “privileged” to be part of Monday’s events.
Both Mike and his wife, Lieutenant Commander Marie Whitehouse, are members of the Royal Navy and have served for 26 years and 19 years behind the scenes.
Mike is the Deputy Staff Weapons Engineer in the Portsmouth Flotilla and Marie is the Chief Combat Officer and PTL Specialist.
Mike and Marie were both on paternity leave after the birth of their second daughter.
When she was just 10 days old, Mike got a call with the sad news of the Queen’s death and was asked to play his part in the procession.
He left for work and spent a week in London training to tow a 123-year-old carriage.
On Monday, September 19, thousands of military personnel took part in the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Marie stayed at home with 21-day-old Beatrice and two-year-old Eleanor and proudly watched the events from home.
Mike said: “It was a privilege, it’s something that can never be replicated. I will remember it forever.
“Everybody was nervous, there was a nervous energy, but the whole team performed wonderfully.
“It’s all about focusing on getting it right and that’s all you could think about.
“Everybody was focused and we all came together.
“Afterwards we were all exhausted, that nervous energy caught up.
“It was unreal, I feel like we were in a bubble during all those training sessions and it wasn’t until I got home that I realized what I had just done.”
Marie said: “I’m incredibly proud, we were sitting at home glued to the screen with both daughters.
“My one-and-a-half-year-old was thrilled to see his dad on TV.
“It was very emotional and exhausting, but so incredible.”
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