A MURCIA woman had a weekend to remember, barely a year after enlisting in the British Royal Navy.

20-year-old Marina Garcia from Puerto de Mazarron was chosen to be part of the guard of honour in the two processions accompanying King Charles III to and from Buckingham Palace in last Saturday’s Coronation.

Marina from the Alamillo area of Mazarron was born in the UK but brought up in Spain.

“Although I was born in England, like my father, I came to live very soon in Mazarron and so I consider myself from here,” said Marina.

She added that she was always fascinated by a possible military life, prompted by the Spanish navy being based in nearby Cartagena.

When she turned 18, she decided to ‘try her luck’ and passed all the entry exams to join the British Royal Navy.

Marina was assigned to HMS Raleigh at Torpoint, Cornwall which is the navy’s basic training facility.

Marcia Garcia Training

She’s currently based at the HMS Drake barracks in Plymouth.

Marina García had to undergo several tests to get a place in the Coronation honour guard.

“It was a process where people from bases all over the UK took part with some very hard tests,” she recalls.

“We had to stand for a long time and also make a lot of movements with the rifles- all of which was difficult to do in order to get to be at the Coronation.”

She also took part in a private ceremony last month ahead of the Coronation where a group of servicemen and servicewomen changed the colours of the flags of the three branches of the armed forces at Buckingham Palace.

The biggest memory of Coronation Day itself was awaiting the appearance of the Royals from the Buckingham Palace balcony.

“I was very lucky, because they placed me right under the balcony, and that image I think will always stay in my eye’s mind.”

“During the event, which was quite long, it rained and we all got wet, but we were all happy to see that balcony image,” Marina added.

She will also receive a medal commemorating her part in the Coronation Day parades.

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