Telford family's pride as Molly, 21, takes part in Duke's funeral parade for Royal Navy

A 21-year-old from Ironbridge took part in the funeral parade for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral this weekend, with only four days of training before the big day.

Molly Oakley from Ironbridge took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral parade on Saturday
Molly Oakley from Ironbridge took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral parade on Saturday

Molly Oakley's family watched with pride as she took part in the parade for Prince Philip's funeral on Saturday.

Molly is a communications rating first class for the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, part of the Royal Navy, after studying uniformed services at Telford College.

Molly Oakley from Ironbridge took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral parade on Saturday

She was stationed on the RFA Tideforce in Scotland when they were notified of the Duke's death, and not long afterwards she was selected to represent her rating in the funeral parade outside Windsor Castle.

Molly said it was a great honour to take part and despite the tough training, she felt the parade had gone well.

"I was on board one of my ships in Scotland, the RFA Tideforce, when I received the signal that the Duke had passed away," Molly explained.

"Not long after that I had a call to activate me for ceremonial duties, and I had to go to Portsmouth to begin training straight away.

Molly Oakley from Ironbridge took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral parade on Saturday

"There were people coming from all four sides of the country coming together for this. I was in a team of four to train, then we moved into large scale with the army, the royal marines and the air force. I was representing the whole of the ratings, which is the junior rank I'm in."

Molly said the training was very intense as they worked hard to make sure it was perfect, and they only had around four days of training before the big day.

"It was a very overwhelming experience," she added. "Obviously the training was hard but when we were actually there and the royals were watching, it was worth it.

Molly Oakley from Ironbridge took part in the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral parade on Saturday

"Because of Covid-19 the parade was very reduced, I think by 75 per cent. We had to march up to Windsor Castle, and were at the quadrangle outside the castle for around 40 minutes, then did the minute's silence, then had to march back.

"There are around 30 or 40 of us on standby for ceremonial duties and I was just selected to go this time. I didn't expect to be picked at all. The whole experience overall was enjoyable.

"We knew what we were there for, so even if our feet were aching a bit, we knew we were doing it for a purpose, and we stood there proud."

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