King Charles honours sailors for their role in Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession

King Charles honours Royal Navy sailors who were involved in the Queen's funeral procession. Credit: PA

Royal Navy sailors who played a key role in Queen Elizabeth’s funeral procession have been recognised by the King.

Charles presented honours from the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) to around 150 sailors and officers who took part in the historic event or planned the Navy’s involvement.

Almost 100 Royal Naval Ratings, known as a Sovereign’s Guard, pulled the gun carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin as it was borne from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch in the capital, and 40 marched behind, acting as a break.

The group stood to attention at Windsor Castle during an open air ceremony.

A member of the Royal Navy is taken unwell in the Quadrangle at Windsor Castle Credit: PA

In the bright summer sunshine six naval ratings were helped off the parade ground after apparently fainting – but at least two returned to receive their meals.

Medical Assistant Paisley Chambers-Smith was awarded an RVO silver medal for pulling the gun carriage carrying the Queen’s coffin with almost 100 other sailors also recognised by the King.

At the Windsor Castle ceremony, heavily pregnant Medical Assistant Paisley Chambers-Smith was awarded a silver Royal Victorian Medal for pulling the gun carriage with her colleagues.

King Charles III presents seven month pregnant Medical Assistant Paisley Chambers-Smith Credit: PA

Ms Chambers-Smith, 25, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, is seven months pregnant and wore a blue summer dress for the event, as there is no Royal Navy ceremonial maternity wear.

The medic, who works alongside civilian medical staff at the NHS Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth when not on deployment, said after the open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle was "not something I imagined doing so soon in my career".

“The training was so hard but worth it, and on the day it was a massive honour to be there,” she added.

She was joined her partner Sergeant Stephen Leonard, 34, a Royal Marine, who was a member of the street lining party stationed along the route the coffin passed, and was standing guard in Parliament Square.

Speaking of the funeral day, Ms Chambers-Smith said: “Pride took over when you walked through the streets of London and just knowing that you’re there and a part of history forever.”

Commenting on her brief chat with the King, who presented mostly medals alongside some higher RVO honours, she added: “He was asking how the training was for the funeral, which was hard – it was tough and the new boots hurt your feet.

“He asked when the baby was due, and how it was standing in the heat.”

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