Veteran RAF pilot Graham Osborn remembers the excitement of attending the Queen's Coronation Parade and his pride of serving the Royal Family with the VIP flight he piloted.
Graham, 87, watched King Charles' Coronation at a Tavistock sheltered home on Saturday where he volunteers for Abbeyfield Tavistock Society.
He attended the Queen's Coronation in 1953 as an invited Queen's Scout and had one of the best views of the parade and of the subsequent Buckingham Palace famous balcony appearance of the new Queen Elizabeth.
Graham said: 'Watching the Coronation today means a lot to the residents here and to me. I'm very pleased to help organise the Coronation viewing for them, along with the staff here at Abbeyfield who planned an excellent royal meal of Coronation Chicken. It brings back memories for the residents and for me.
'I have a long association with the Royal Family and it started, in a sense, when I received my Queen''s Scout Award and then when I was invited to watch the Queen's Coronation 70 years ago. I was very privileged as a teenage Queen's Scout to be invited. I was in what must have been a reserved spot especially for all the other Queen's Scouts from across the country. We were invited in the same way that King Charles invited many young people's organisations to today's Coronation.
'I travelled down from Liverpool over night and had a fantastic position to watch the parade outside Buckingham Palace. It must have been a special reserved position. There wasn't anyone else to compete with for a view. I saw an unimpeded view of the golden Coronation coach at close quarters both when the Queen left the palace and when she came back. Then we were probably the closest when she and the Royal Family gathered on the palace balcony and kept going and returning to the balcony as the crowds demanded.
'I made friends on the pavement because we were standing there for so long. Altogether it was a fun and wonderful occasion, especially for someone of my age and It has always remained with me as a highlight of my life.'
Graham's received his Queen's Scout Awards at a ceremony in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, from a member of the Royal Family. He then had a long distinguished in the RAF, culminating as the commanding officer of RAF Northolt where the Royal and VIP flight was based. He previously piloted fighter jets such as the Hunter, before flying the Royal Flight executive jet, entrusted with their safe transport.
'I flew all the members of the Royal Family and of the government all over the place and met them in this role. I met King Charles many times and I like him. He'll make an excellent King.'
Graham also organises memory sessions at the home for residents to cover periods 30, 40 and 50 years ago for them to jointly reminisce: ' Because our residents are often in their mid 70s, they have wonderful memories of events and of their personal lives. It gives them a real boost in their morale to talk about their reflections with the companionship we have here. The Coronation today ignites those memories and leads to happy conversations and friendships.'