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OUR GIRL | Ballymena’s Peighton Kelly gets ready to take position for the King’s Coronation

Peighton Kelly in uniform with army regiment dog.

Just one of more than 6,000 men and women of the UK Armed Forces who will march on the streets of London in Saturday's Coronation procession, Peighton Kelly from Ballymena will stand proudly, and perhaps a little nervously, as she becomes part of history in the making.

The 22-year-old local lass, a member of 1 Armoured Medical Regiment based in Tidworth, England, has been in preparation alongside her colleagues from late 2022. As a fully qualified Combat Medical Technician (CMT) Peighton said she will be lined on the side of the road, "ready to 'fall out' to provide medical care to soldiers and anyone else who is involved in the forces, if I am needed".

Peighton, who was presented with a prestigious award last year as part of the Royal Army Medical Corps in recognition of her contribution and work as during the coronavirus pandemic, is prepared and ready for another memorable day in her military career.

"It has been a busy start to this year with lots going on behind the scene," said the remarkable young woman. "The year kicked off with skiing in Austria as part of adventurous training with the army - it definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone.

"In preparation for the Coronation we have been taking part in lots of training for a range of different medical issues which may occur on the day."

Peighton Kelly.

The months of training culminated this past week with Strategic Command personnel working through the night in the Capital in preparation for The King's Coronation.

Under the glow of London’s streetlamps, thousands of sailors, soldiers, and aviators paraded through empty streets on their final, full-scale rehearsal of the Coronation procession. One onlooker captured Peighton as she took her place at 3:30am (below).

Rehearsal for the King’s Coronation.

Peighton (bottom right) in position during the overnight full rehearsal in London.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's events, General Sir Jim Hockenhull KBE, ADC Gen, Commander, Strategic Command shared his thoughts on the momentous occasion.

"The Coronation of HM King Charles III is an historic event, and I am proud of the role that Strategic Command personnel will perform in the celebrations in London and across the world.

"As we build up to this weekend I am reminded, more than ever, of the strong bonds that the Armed Forces and Civil Service have with HM The King and the nation. Our people in Strategic Command, in the UK and across the network of overseas bases, work incredibly hard, playing a critical role in protecting the nation and helping it prosper."

For 'Our Girl' Peighton, Saturday 6 May 2023 will be another day in a career she choose, and a job she loves, serving her country and being part of history-making memories.

"Being part of this historical event is an honour for me. It is very humbling to have been involved in the lead up to the 'big day', watching the plans progress from nothing to a few marching soldiers, to the day rehearsal, and then to the full overnight rehearsal in London.

"I imagine on the day of the Coronation I will have goosebumps with the atmosphere of the crowds who will be clapping and cheering as the procession passes by.

"The regiment has worked really hard, right to the very day, along with every other member of the Forces involved".

Peighton Kelly with army regiment dog.

Peighton added:

"I encourage anyone who has an interest for serving in the Army or any other Forces, to go speak to their nearest recruitment centre - there is something for everyone!"

After the pomp and ceremony of The King's Coronation, Peighton will return to base on Sunday, but not for long, the young soldier already has her next deployment details and will be on the move, again, at the end of the week.


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