Two RCIPS Officers, Detective Constable Samantha Sillitoe and Detective Sergeant Shane Ennis, were selected by the RCIPS Commissioner of Police to attend and take part in the Coronation of King Charles III, in London on Saturday 6 May.
The British Overseas Territories (BOT) Commonwealth Office put forward the request, on behalf of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Mark Rowley, for two officers from each BOT to attend the Coronation event.
“I am very proud to have been given the opportunity to represent the RCIPS at the Coronation of King Charles III. It was such an honour to have been part of such an historical, ‘once in a lifetime’ event”, says DC Sillitoe.
DC Sillitoe spoke of the amazing atmosphere in London and the warm welcome they received from the general public and other officers taking part in the event. “The Metropolitan Police did an exceptional job at making the BOT officers feel like a central part of the event”. Of the BOT’s, the Cayman Islands were represented alongside officers from the British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Gibraltar and Turks and Caicos.
“To have the chance to represent the Cayman Islands and the RCIPS at the Coronation, was a highlight of my career”, said DS Ennis. “It was my first trip to London, and as a lover of history it was a thrill to experience a city filled with such a rich history during such a significant event”. In preparing for their station on parade, DS Ennis mentioned that on arriving in London, and experiencing the drop in temperature, a quick shopping trip was in order to replace their usual t-shirts they wear under their tunics with long sleeve thermals to ward off the cold!
“We stayed at the same hotel as the other BOT officers, so had a chance to meet and build relationships with our colleagues from the region. We have since started a Whatsapp group to communicate and share insights and knowledge about policing in our respective areas across the Caribbean”, said DS Ennis.
DC Sillitoe said, “I am from the UK and also an ex-Met Officer, so personally, this experience was very close to my heart. We were very lucky to be posted directly outside of Westminster Abbey and I was particularly fortunate to be stood outside of the Royal entrance. I saw King Charles and all the Royal Family literally just a few feet in front of me, both before and after the ceremony, which was both surreal and amazing.”
The officers managed to squeeze in a whirlwind tour of some of the major sites in London before their return home, with native Londoner, DC Sillitoe as tour guide. “My daughter has a ‘Peppa Pig Goes To London’ book, and I was able to take pictures of the real monuments featured in the book to show her on my return. She was so impressed”, laughed DS Ennis.
DC Sillitoe and DS Ennis, wish to thank Commissioner Byrne, for selecting them, and the Cayman Islands Government for enabling them to represent the Cayman Islands at this historical event.