Royal memories flooding back

A RETIRED banker who was a choirboy at the Queen and Prince Philip s wedding 60 years ago, returned to London on Monday to take part in a ceremony to mark the royal couple s diamond anniversary. Michael Warner, from Somersham, was 12 at the time of the we

A RETIRED banker who was a choirboy at the Queen and Prince Philip's wedding 60 years ago, returned to London on Monday to take part in a ceremony to mark the royal couple's diamond anniversary.

Michael Warner, from Somersham, was 12 at the time of the wedding, on November 20, 1947.

He said: "It was a special occasion and brought lots of memories flooding back.

"I remember being situated in the organ loft at Westminster Abbey for the service and trying to peer down to see what was going on but I couldn't make out very much."


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Mr Warner, 72, was chosen as one of just 22 boys to form a choir for the royal occasion after previously being a member of the wartime choir at Westminster Abbey.

"Of course, we were nervous going into the ceremony," he recalled. "Like any performer it is good to be on your toes but once the singing began you just got on with your job.

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"There was also a lot of media interest in me and I remember being interviewed by the Walthamstow Guardian - I think I still have a copy of the article somewhere.

"One thing I do remember is that Dr Cyril Garbett, then Archbishop of York, referred to Prince Philip as a sailor, which raised a few eyebrows."

Mr Warner grew up in Walthamstow, where he met and married his wife Maureen, before moving to Essex, Hertfordshire and finally The Pasture in Somersham, 11 years ago.

He said: "The fantastic sea of colour at the wedding will always stay in my mind.

"The golds and reds of the dresses set against the beautiful white were an amazing sight."

Mr Warner remains a member of a group where former Westminster Abbey choristers can keep in touch.

He said: "It is hard to explain but there was something about being in that choir that will stay with me for ever, more so than any school I attended."

INFORMATION: A warts-and-all recording of the original 1947 wedding ceremony can be ordered from www.pavilionrecords.com or by calling 01892 783591.

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