IT was a priceless experience for a Blackpool nurse when she was chosen to parade in front of the Queen as part of the Jubilee celebrations.
Emma Ibbotson, a staff nurse on the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, recently returned from her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, serving as a captain in the Territorial Army.
Soon after her return, she was told she would be the only TA nurse in the country to take part in the special Diamond Jubilee parade by the armed forces at Windsor Palace.
She joined around 2,500 members of the Army, Navy and RAF.
Before the parade, Emma was awarded a special Diamond Jubilee Medal to wear on the day.
The event included a full parade by forces in front of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, plus a fly-past by RAF and Army Air Corp helicopters, Tornado and vintage Lancaster and Spitfire aircraft.
The 26-year-old said: “It was an incredible feeling to be part of such an important event, particularly as it was one of the first occasions armed forces had worn the Diamond Jubilee medal for the Queen.
“It was also a real thrill to know you were being thanked for your efforts by the Queen in this way.”
Susan Howarth, ward manager at Blackpool Victoria Hospital intensive treatment unit, added: “We are all immensely proud of Emma and are all humbled by her strength of character and the fantastic work she did when she was away on tour.
“Emma truly is what nursing is all about.”