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A Northamptonshire Police officer who was chosen to police the funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has described policing the event as “the greatest honour of my career”.
PC Ryan Warren works on the East Northants Neighbourhood Policing Team and was chosen to join officers from across the country in the once-in-a-lifetime event on Monday, September 19.
His day started at the Metropolitan Police’s Lambeth Headquarters before he joined other officers in a procession along the streets of London down to The Mall.
“It was surreal being applauded by the crowds as we passed,” recalled PC Warren. “These people had obviously been camping out overnight ready for the day ahead and were just really pleased to see us.”
He was then positioned outside Buckingham Palace next to the Victoria Memorial roundabout, with a duty to face the nearby crowds, engage with them, and to look out for any suspicious behaviour throughout the parade.
He said: “It was a very solemn occasion witnessing the changing emotions of the public around me. Some people were crying, some applauded, but everyone was really respectful of the event and thankfully, I didn’t have to deal with any incidents.”
PC Warren, who has served as a police officer for five years – four on Response in Wellingborough and a year as a neighbourhood constable, described the event as “the greatest honour of my career”.
He said: “I was at work at the time when the news was announced of Her Late Majesty's passing. She has been a constant in everyone’s lives, she’s seen so much of a world which has changed significantly since the start of her reign. Part of you did think she was timeless in a way. She was a truly remarkable lady who dedicated her life to public service.
“Being part of the policing operation for her funeral was the greatest honour of my career and I feel humbled to be a part of history in this way.
“It was a long day but I was so pleased to be there – feeling the ground shaking as the procession made its way past, bowing our heads as Her Late Majesty’s coffin came past, and working alongside officers from across the country and the Commonwealth is something I’ll never forget.”
PC Warren was joined by Craig Douglas from Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service who was just one of 16 firefighters selected to attend the funeral.