A STUNNED sailor is on cloud nine after playing a momentous role in Prince William and Kate Middleton’s historic day.
Able Seaman Dennis Brown, who is based at HMS Collingwood in Fareham, was among the eight Royal Navy members who lined the path out of Westminster Abbey, as the newlyweds emerged for the first time as husband and wife.
It was the first wedding the 39-year-old had ever attended and he said he is still pinching himself that he was actually there.
He said: ‘It was dream-like. When Kate came out of the abbey for the first time everything went quiet for a few seconds and it was just a magical moment.
‘Then the queen and all the rest of the guests came out and we followed behind them as they went to their carriages – it was really special.
‘The crowd were all cheering as we marched past them – they were loving it and it felt amazing to see how much support there was.
‘But it all finished too quickly, I wanted it to go on longer. It still doesn’t really feel real and now it’s part of history.’
AB Brown, who recently found out he is related to Kate as reported in The News, was one of the 24 hand-picked armed forces personnel selected for the military guard of honour.
The members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Forces were all chosen because of their personal connection to Prince William, or because of the outstanding contribution they have given to their service.
Other sailors performing the role, all of whom prepared for the wedding at HMS Collingwood, were Lieutenant Steve Clarke of HMS Vanguard, Lieutenant Jason Hannigan of HMS Daring, Chief Petty Officer Sharon Cummins of HMS Wildfire, Leading Physical Trainer Gavin Rees of Royal Navy Leadership Academy, and Able Seaman Eldon Hughes of HMS Astute. Lieutenant John Crow and Sergeant ‘Bernie’ Manning both of the Royal Marines 40 Commando were standing on guard.
Gavin Rees, the Royal Navy’s leading physical trainer, said: ‘I’m pleased I had this opportunity to be among the privileged few to line the path in to Westminster Abbey on the big day.
‘It’s a great memory to look back on and tell the grandchildren.’