WALKING down the steps of the Albert Hall in front of the royal family will be a moment this proud sailor will never forget.
Petty Officer Steven Munday was one of the guests of honour at this year’s Festival of Remembrance.
He was invited to the ceremony for his incredible work in fundraising for the Royal British Legion.
For the past four years, PO Munday has been a key player in the London Poppy Day, bringing a team of sailors from HMS Sultan to the capital.
It is estimated his efforts, which this year saw him taking a bumper team of 120 sailors from across the area to the city, have raised updates of £1m for the armed forces charity.
Speaking of the moment he stepped out in front of royalty, the 42-year-old dad of three said: ‘It is something that is going to stay with me forever.
‘It was emotional, surreal, daunting – it was just a once-in-a-lifetime thing.
‘It doesn’t get any better than that. I’m still trying to process it all.’
He added walking the steps in front of the Queen was a nerve-wracking experience.
‘It’s daft because all you’re doing is walking down some stairs. But I just wanted to do it right.’
PO Munday this year helped to raise more than £80,000 during the day-long ‘Poppy blitz’ in the capital.
Since joining the London Poppy Day, he has seen his team of naval volunteers rise from 30 to 120.
PO Munday is the logistical mastermind of the effort from Sultan, with the RBL saying he was integral to the success of the London event.
Clare Peppiatt, community fundraiser south Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, nominated the Afghanistan veteran to join the festival.
She said: ‘PO Munday’s dedication both to serving and ex-servicemen is an example to others and epitomises the core values required of personnel serving in a 21st century Royal Navy.’
Others to attend Saturday’s festival included Chris and Louise Purcell who organise Portsmouth’s Poppy Appeal, raising £600,000 for the RBL.
MORE REMEMBRANCE DAY PICTURES n PAGES 36&37