A NAVAL engineer who was honoured at Buckingham Palace made sure the day was extra special – by proposing to his partner at the palace.
Besotted Matthew Gallimore, an air engineering technician, got down on one knee in the residence's quadrangle after collecting an MBE for his services to the military.
The 35-year-old, who was formerly based at HMS Sultan in Gosport, was not allowed to propose inside the royal building but still wanted to surprise partner Adele Thomasson and make it a ‘special day’ for the both of them.
‘I've had about four or five awards now in the navy, and she's been to all my awards and it has always been all about me,’ he said.
‘This is a big occasion, we are never going to do this again, so I thought I want to share the occasion with my partner.
‘Rather than it being all about me all the time, let's make it a special day for both of us.’
Mr Gallimore, a junior rate who has been in the navy for five years and is now based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, said he began planning for the proposal after being named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
‘I rang up the palace and said, “can I do it inside the palace?” and they said “no, you have to do it outside”,’ he said.
‘They said, “at the end of the day it's the Queen's house, so the last thing you want to do is annoy the Queen”. And that's the last thing I want.’
Mr Gallimore and the palace agreed he would propose in the quadrangle, a courtyard in the middle of the palace, after receiving his award from the Duke of Cambridge yesterday.
He said: ‘I kept it all quite private really, I asked her dad's permission. There's only about half a dozen people who knew, Adele didn't have a clue.
‘She was chuffed, she didn't have a clue. She was very, very surprised.’
The couple celebrated their special day with drinks at The Ritz Hotel in the capital followed by dinner at The Ivy.
The pair recently bought a house together and have a 20-month-old son, George. Ms Thomasson also has a nine-year-old daughter, Emily.
Mr Gallimore, originally from Crewe, called the earlier investiture ceremony ‘lovely’, and added he was pleased William was the royal who presented him with the honours.
Mr Gallimore said the duke had called the engineer's military and charity work ‘amazing’, and added: ‘I wouldn't be surprised if I see you here again in the future.’