June 2, 2022 6.00 am

Two Lincolnshire soldiers ready for Queen’s Platinum Jubilee parade

Described as a “privilege”

The Queen’s Birthday Parade at Buckingham Palace will see  over 1,400 soldiers, including two from Lincolnshire, parade with members of the Royal Family for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Taking place on Thursday, June 2, the Trooping the Colour parade will see more than 1,400 soldiers, 200 horses and 400 musicians come together and take part in a march near Buckingham Palace.

The parade will see members of the Royal Family take part on horseback through The Mall to Horse Guard’s Parade, and it will be closed by a special RAF flypast featuring plenty of Lincolnshire aircraft – including the famous Red Arrows.

The Trooping the Colour parade is steeped in tradition, and takes on extra meaning this year in line with the Platinum Jubilee. | Photo: British Army

The event will be broadcast live across the world, with British residents able to tune in on BBC One, and it will be among the biggest celebrations for the upcoming Platinum Jubilee – marking 70 years as a monarch for Queen Elizabeth II.

It will be a moment of immense pride for two Lincolnshire participants: Warrant Officer Class 2 Paul Jones, who is Master Farrier of the Household Cavalry Regiment, and Master Tailor Warrant Officer Class 2 Emma Colton.

Almost 1,500 soldiers will descend on the Buckingham Palace area for the Platinum Jubilee, as well as Her Majesty the Queen’s birthday celebrations. | Photo: British Army

Paul, 35, joined the British Army straight from school, and this Trooping the Colour parade will be his eighth and final one before heading to his next posting as Head Farrier at the Defence Animal Training Regiment in Melton Mowbray.

His story through the army ranks has been one of ups and downs, having received life changing leg injuries in Afghanistan in 2009 when he was maimed by an improvised explosive device.

This prompted him to begin training as a Farrier, and he is now responsible for a team of 14 Farriers who together will be fitting shoes on all 240 horses taking part in the parade.

Paul Jones will be responsible for shoe fitting on the 240 horses at the parade, before going on horseback himself for the actual march. | Photo: British Army

Paul, who grew up in Waddington, will be riding an 18-hand Irish Drum Horse called Quasimodo on the parade, situated at the back of the Blues and Royals Regiment, wearing a dark blue tunic with red collar and cuffs, and a red plume while carrying a silver axe.

He will be watched by his fiancé Claire and their 18-month-old son Reggie, while his parents Julie and Eric watch on with pride back home in Lincolnshire.

Paul said: “It’s a huge privilege to play a part in the Jubilee celebrations and has extra special meaning for me because it will probably be the last time I ride on the Queen’s Birthday Parade.

“I take up a new posting at the Defence Animal Training Regiment in Melton Mowbray in September which will be my last posting prior to leaving the Army after 22 years’ service.”

Emma Colston, from Gautby near Horncastle, will also be playing a big part in the parade. | Photo: British Army

Paul will be joined on the parade by fellow Lincolnshire soldier Emma Colton, 34, who also joined the army immediately after school.

Emma, originally from Gautby, is the British Army’s first ever female Master Tailor and she serves in the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. This leaves her in charge of a small team of tailors, responsible for making sure uniforms are in perfect order.

This will be her 16th Queen’s Birthday Parade, having also met the Queen on several occasions at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and taking part in the gun salute ceremony to mark the death of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

WO2 Emma Colton has met the Queen on multiple occasions. | Photo: British Army

Speaking about meeting Queen Elizabeth II and also taking part in this special parade, Emma said: “She has dedicated her life to the country, it was an honour to be introduced to her.

“The parade is an annual event that has marked the official birthday of the monarch for more than 260 years. It will be a spectacular day filled with all the pomp and ceremony the watching public have come to expect and will be an historical event that may never happen again.”