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Sailor celebrates MBE with proposal at Buckingham Palace

3 December 2019
A Royal Navy sailor was made an MBE and then dropped on one knee and proposed to his girlfriend at Buckingham Palace.

Matthew Gallimore, an Air Engineering Technician based at Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, decided on a pretty epic double whammy, as he collected his MBE from Prince William and then, in the royal palace’s courtyard, gained a fiancée with a proposal to remember.

It’s an opportunity few will ever get and a chance AET Gallimore definitely didn’t want to miss.

He’d been planning this the moment since he got word he was going to get the award for his work with Commando Helicopter Force’s 845 Naval Air Squadron.
“Seeing how happy she was when I asked was definitely the highlight of the day for me,” he said.

“I was relieved when she said yes. I didn’t want the day to be about me, I wanted to share it with her.

“As soon as I got the letter about receiving the MBE, I started thinking about the proposal. We recently brought a house and it seemed the perfect time.”

The 35-year-old was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this summer and was invited to London to receive the medal.

From the moment he knew that, he planned to take along girlfriend Adele Thomasson and a ring in his pocket.


AET Gallimore, an air engineer in Yeovilton’s sheet metal shop, received his MBE from the Duke of Cambridge.

He added: “I have a lot of time for Prince William so I was happy when I found out he would be giving me the MBE.”

And it was from the Duke that AET Gallimore found out exactly why he received it.

“I assumed it was for all the charity work I do back home for veterans, the homeless and vulnerable families,” AET Gallimore said.

“But when he gave it to me, Prince William said it was for the support I gave 845 NAS when they went to the Caribbean to provide humanitarian aid.

“I was working when the call came in that the squadron would be flying out to help so I had to prepare all the kit. It was my job to get the equipment serviced and ready for when they flew out the next day.”

AET Gallimore’s behind-the-scenes work has seen him win other awards. He has run the boxing gym at RNAS Yeovilton since he joined the Royal Navy five years ago, securing £8,000 of funding to refurbish it, and also works with the Royal British Legion selling poppies.

Last year he was given a Second Sea Lord Commendation and he has always won a Navy Wings Live Your Life Award.

He added: “Adele has always supported me at these award events so I wanted the MBE to be about us. It was a surreal day and I was a little anxious as I didn’t know what to expect.

“But it was a fantastic day, it was really brilliant.”

AET Gallimore and Adele, 36, are looking to get married within the next two to three years and are excited to share the day with their 21-month-old son George and Adele’s daughter Emily, aged nine.


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