Coronation Street star Antony Cotton has praised the members of the armed forces involved in the Queen’s funeral as “nothing short of magnificent”.
The actor, 47, best known for playing Sean Tully in the long-running soap, attended the state service at Westminster Abbey on Monday morning and shared a photo of the order of service on Twitter.
A second photo, taken shortly before the funeral, showed him standing alongside four military personnel in uniform.
He has a close association with the forces and was recognised in the 2022 Queen’s birthday honours for services to British Army, personnel and veterans.
Well…where to begin?! I had the greatest honour of being invited to Her Majesty’s funeral. So proud to see so many pals working on it, and doing their Queen and country proud. It was a day I will never forget.
“May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest…” pic.twitter.com/Hjh8jTMlBl
— Antony Cotton (@antonycotton) September 19, 2022
He said: “Well…where to begin?! I had the greatest honour of being invited to Her Majesty’s funeral.
“So proud to see so many pals working on it, and doing their Queen and country proud. It was a day I will never forget.”
Cotton cited the same quote from Hamlet used by the King during his first public broadcast as head of state: “May flights of Angels sing thee to thy rest…”
He added: “The men and women of our armed forces were nothing short of magnificent today.
“I’m so, so proud of all my pals who worked on giving Her Majesty such a wonderful send off. It was a remarkable service.”
Cotton has been involved with the military community since 2008 and was named as the first celebrity ambassador for military charity the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA).
He is also a patron of Help For Heroes and was made the SSAFA’s 2022 ambassador for the defence inclusivity category.
The actor’s official association with the charities began after the return from Afghanistan of a close friend who needed support.
He has recently worked alongside the British Army on its mental health and resilience training programme, OPSMART.
Cotton has enjoyed a long and varied career and has picked up various awards for his role in Coronation Street, including National Television Awards and a British Soap Award for best actor in 2007.
Following the Queen’s death on Thursday September 8, Cotton wrote on Instagram about meeting her a number of times and described each occasion as “the greatest honour”.
He said: “Like everyone else, I adored her. She was a people person. That was her gift. She understood folk – after all, she spent a lifetime meeting them. She was a pro.”