Award winning cop’s pride following Trooping the Colour nomination
Main article content
An officer has spoken of her pride after being nominated to represent the force throughout a special national celebration.
Crowds in their thousands descended on London for a whole host of celebrations as part of Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, of which one of the highlights was the ‘Trooping the Colour’ parade to mark the monarch’s official birthday on Thursday, 2 June.
Amongst the attendees was Derbyshire Constabulary’s very own PC Amy Ratcliffe, from the Derby North Response Team, who had been nominated by colleagues to represent the force at the event.
The recent winner of Derbyshire’s ‘Community Officer of the Year’ award, who has been with the force for six years, joined officers from up and down the country, as well as representatives from Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Isle of Man, as the Queen celebrated 70 years on the throne.
Amy won the award for her dedicated work helping the community and other officers, including recording a series of short films around wellbeing, as well as being the first to offer help to others and get the job done.
This same sentiment from her colleagues earned her the opportunity to head down to London for the festivities, and reflecting on the nomination and the trip, she said: “It all happened very quickly. I found out about the nomination around a week before the event and I got the e-mail confirming it as I was coming on to a night shift, which was an amazing surprise to start that shift off with.
“I of course accepted when I was asked if I would represent Derbyshire and I felt honoured that I had been chosen.
“Everyone was super helpful getting everything turned around in time. I spoke to my Sergeant about the change in shifts and had lots of help getting travel and accommodation sorted.
“We also had to be dressed very smartly in full tunic gear, something which the stores department helped me greatly with getting sorted. This event was the first time I had worn a tunic so it did make me feel really smart.”
After arriving the day before and taking in the surroundings, including having a look at the preparations being finalised on The Mall, it was time to get ready for an early start.
Amy met the other officers for a briefing at a police station in Lambeth around 7am, where senior officers from the Metropolitan Police Service ran them through the plan for the day and thanked them for being there.
Arriving at Whitehall and then walking down to Horseguards Parade, there was just enough time to grab a few memorable photos and some breakfast at the site before the public were let in around 9:30am.
Amy added: “We were given the job of crowd management essentially and we lined the square within Horseguards Parade. The area is a mixture of seated and standing areas and it was roped off for those standing, so we were lining that rope and made sure that no one crossed the line or made it onto the square whilst the processions were happening.
“Each of the regional officers were also joined by a Met officer at each point we were standing, which was great as we got to meet so many new people.
“When Prince Charles and Princess Anne rode through on their horses we were less than 20 feet away from them, which was incredible. We could only capture small glimpses as we were monitoring the crowd, but the sight of all the horses and the parade was just so majestic. People also ask me if the commands that are shouted during the parade are as loud as they seem on TV, and they most definitely are. We could hear everything perfectly.
“I actually got a little bit emotional as well when the national anthem started playing, it really hit me that this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing to be a part of and that sense of pride in representing Derbyshire was huge.”
After the parade, the officers stayed in the area ready for the flyover, which consisted of aircraft from the Royal Navy, British Army and the Royal Air Force.
“We were lucky enough to be designated a private area for the flyover.” Amy recalled.
“The view was amazing and it was such a good opportunity to get photos and videos. It was unbelievable to see all the different aircrafts and forces, especially when they created the number 70 formation. Seeing it in person just made you realise how talented the pilots are to stay in formation as seeing it in person shows you how close together they actually are.
“We then helped disperse the crowds and because it was extremely busy and traffic was being kept at a standstill in a lot of areas, we were escorted to our next destination on foot, which was New Scotland Yard.
“It was quite surreal because Metropolitan Police officers were lining a route for us to make it easier to get through the crowds, and people thought it looked amazing, loved it and began taking photos and videos.
“When we got to New Scotland Yard, we had more photos before heading back to Lambeth.
“I can’t explain the atmosphere, everywhere in London was just buzzing with people and activity and it is something I’ll never forget.
“I feel really privileged to have experienced a day like that and to represent Derbyshire Constabulary doing it. I want to thank the teams I’ve worked with and those that nominated me as it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me. My Mum was also there and she was so proud.
“After it had finished, I celebrated by putting my feet up and watching it on the TV like everyone else had done as well to see how it looked for them, and it was just unbelievable to think back and know I was there. It will be a memory that will stick with me forever.”