Portsmouth officer tells of his pride leading ceremonial guard in front of Queen

Lieutenant Commander Antony "Nick" Leeson, 37, of Portsmouth, who is in charge of the ceremonial guard
Lieutenant Commander Antony "Nick" Leeson, 37, of Portsmouth, who is in charge of the ceremonial guard
Captain Jerry Kyd

WATCH: Captain's pride in HMS Queen Elizabeth

HMS Queen Elizabeth Picture: Lee Marshfield

Britain’s biggest warship ever joins the Royal Navy fleet in Portsmouth today

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LEADING a royal guard in front of the Queen will be a daunting prospect for Lieutenant Commander Antony ‘Nick’ Leeson.

The 37-year-old is in charge of a contingent of 96 men and women during HMS Queen Elizabeth’s commissioning.

‘I will be stood in front of a ceremonial guard of 96 sailors and will be presenting them to the Queen,’ said the dad-of-two. ‘We’ve been training for about two weeks now. We’re all really looking forward to it. It’s amazing how quickly it’s come around, it seems like only seconds ago we were at sea.

‘It’s really a huge honour and a real privilege to take part in this.’

Cheering him on will be his wife Lucy, and their children Alexander, eight, and Edward, 10 – who both have the day off school.

Lt Cdr Leeson, who lives in Portsmouth, said this is the first time he and his family will have seen the Queen.

He added: ‘There’s some nervous excitement from my family at the moment but I’m sure they will really, really enjoy it.’

During the ceremony the commissioning warrant will be read. The Queen will also review the first row of the royal guard and will say a few words as lady sponsor.

To prepare for the ceremony, the ship’s hangar has been cleared of equipment and seating installed. A screen will also show the moment the White Ensign is raised on the ship’s flight deck.