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May 11, 2023

4 B.D.F. Soldiers Return from Participation in King Charles Coronation

Over the weekend, the world honed in on the coronation of Charles III and his wife, Camilla, as King and Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.  The royal rites of passage took place at Westminster Abbey; eight months after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September eighth, 2022. Now, since Belize’s independence, we’ve always recognized a queen as head of the monarchy; in fact, she is even represented on our money. But now, there is a king.  The coronation on May sixth was a spectacle that many enjoyed from the comfort of their homes, but four Belize Defence Force soldiers travelled overseas to participate and returned to the Jewel on Tuesday. In tonight’s episode of Belize on Reel, News Five’s Duane Moody spoke with them about their experience.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The pomp and circumstance of the much talked about coronation of King Charles held at the Westminster Abbey, an Anglican church in London. And while the Governor General of Belize and other diplomats gathered for the momentous occasion, so did four soldiers from the Belize Defence Force who actually partook in the royal proceedings.  Two weeks before the coronation, they travelled to the UK ready to do their part and represent the country.


Kimberly Garcia

2nd Lt. Kimberly Garcia, Platoon Commander, B.D.F.

“We went there, we went for two weeks and throughout that two weeks, we had rehearsals. We went to different locations for the rehearsals; for instance, one of the locations was Sandhurst. And then came one of the hardest part was the nigh rehearsal because it was extremely cold. But it was good, it was a nice experience. Two persons from Belize were chosen to be the Gold State Coach escort and so I was one of the two chosen and I was marching exactly beside the king.”


Staff Sergeant Luis Gabourel is from Orange Walk District and is presently posted with the training company. He has been with the B.D.F. for over two decades. The honor of representing the country at first came as a shock, but his training prepared him for the task at hand.


Luis Gabourel

Staff Sgt. Luis Gabourel, Member, B.D.F. Training Company

“When I was selected, it was an excitement, but then my military training kicked in where I had to stay calm and know what I am going to do – represent the country of Belize and the people of Belize, especially the Belize Defence Force.”


Jorge Teul

Staff Sgt. Jorge Teul, Member, B.D.F. Communications Department

“The military that is in us, we are trained soldiers. That kicked in for me and that excitement went and I started preparing myself for the drill.”


The soldiers spoke about their take away from the experience.


Staff Sgt. Jorge Teul

“My biggest take is the people that we met out there; there are different types of people, different culture and it is wonderful to be on the other side of the world watching different faces, meeting new people. It is lovely. It is nice to have that opportunity to be out there on the other side of the world.”


Duane Moody

“Did you come close to the king?”


Staff Sgt. Jorge Teul

“No, I did not. But still I am happy I was there and for the last of it when the king went inside, we did give him his three cheers.”


Staff Sgt. Luis Gabourel

“Meeting new friends and getting use to a different type of temperature. It is summer for them, but it is really cold. That’s the biggest take away. Also like you said, the uniform was there so we had to be immaculate in our drills. We had to know what we were doing and what was expected from Belize.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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