As the nation gathered to mourn Queen Elizabeth II at her state funeral, soap fans at home were surprised to see Coronation Street star Antony Cotton among the faces of those in attendance at the ceremony.
The 47 year old actor, who is best known for playing Sean Tully on the popular ITV soap, explained that he was in attendance at the historic ceremony in a social media post once the service had concluded.
Sharing two photos side by side from the event, Antony wrote: “Well…where to begin?! I had the greatest honour of being invited to Her Majesty’s funeral.
“So proud to see so many pals working on it, and doing their Queen and country proud. It was a day I will never forget.”
He then rounded off the post by saying: “May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest…”
Following the post, many social media users were left confused by the star’s attendance at such a huge event as they struggled to see any royal connection between the Bury born actor and the Royal family.
However, Antony was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list earlier this year, for his services to the British Army, personnel and veterans.
In a nod to his connection and continued respect for the serving men and women of the military in today’s procession, Antony also paid a special tribute to all the personnel involved on social media.
“The men and women of our armed forces were nothing short of magnificent today,” he wrote.
“I’m so, so proud of all my pals who worked on giving Her Majesty such a wonderful send off. It was a remarkable service.”
Around 6000 representatives from all three Armed Forces – the Army, Royal Navy and RAF took part in the historic and moving procession that conveyed Queen Elizabeth to her final resting place.
The Queen’s coffin itself was towed aboard a 123 year old gun carriage that was personally towed by the combined efforts of 98 Royal Navy sailors.
A number of other iconic British Army units also took part, including the Royal Lancers, the 4th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, and the British Army Band Catterick.
Members of the Grenadier Guards – the most senior Foot Guards regiment in the UK, and who had the Queen as their Colonel in Chief – also played a prominent role , alongside assistance from the Household Cavalry, which is comprised of the two most senior regiments in the British Army, the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals.
First World War vintage 13-pound field guns, were also fired by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery as part of a minute gun salute firing one round every 60 seconds during the procession, from the East Lawn of Windsor Castle.
In addition to personnel from the Army, were all five bands of the Royal Navy's Royal Marines, as well as a full marching contingent of sailors, musicians, stewards and staff.
Personnel from the RAF Regiment, RAF College Cranwell, RAF Marham, the Royal Auxiliary and 603 City of Edinburgh Squadron were also in attendance as they represented the Royal Air Force in her majesty’s honour.
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