Royal Navy engineer, 35, proposes to his girlfriend at Buckingham Palace

A Royal Navy engineer proposed to his girlfriend at Buckingham Palace after being awarded an MBE by Prince William.  

Matthew Gallimore, an air engineering technician from Crewe in Cheshire, got down on one knee in the palace residence’s quadrangle after collecting the honour for his services to the military from the Duke of Cambridge. 

Decorated serviceman Mr Gallimore, who wanted to ensure his partner felt a part of the big celebrations too, was left overjoyed when Adele Thomasson said yes.  

A Royal Navy engineer proposed to his girlfriend at Buckingham Palace after being awarded an MBE by Prince William

Matthew Gallimore, an air engineering technician in the Royal Navy, got down on one knee in the residence’s quadrangle after collecting the honour for his services to the military

Mr Gallimore, a junior rate who has been in the Navy for five years, was named in the Queen's Birthday Honours list and said he began planning the proposal as soon as he received the letter (his partner Adele Thomasson is pictured)

Mr Gallimore, a junior rate who has been in the Navy for five years, was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and said he began planning the proposal as soon as he received the letter (his partner Adele Thomasson is pictured)

Mr Gallimore said that the royal household would not permit him to propose inside but he still wanted to surprise partner Adele and make it a ‘special day’ for the both of them. 

‘I’ve had about four or five awards now in the navy, and she’s been to all my awards and it has always been all about me,’ he said.

‘This is a big occasion, we are never going to do this again, so I thought I want to share the occasion with my partner.

‘Rather than it being all about me all the time, let’s make it a special day for both of us.’

Mr Gallimore, a junior rate who has been in the Navy for five years, was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and said he began planning the proposal as soon as he received the letter.

‘I rang up the palace and said, ‘can I do it inside the palace?’ and they said ‘no, you have to do it outside’,’ the 35-year-old added.

‘They said, ‘at the end of the day it’s the Queen’s house, so the last thing you want to do is annoy the Queen’. And that’s the last thing I want!’

Mr Gallimore and the palace agreed that he would propose in the quadrangle, a courtyard in the middle of the palace, after receiving his award from the Duke of Cambridge on Tuesday.

He said: ‘I kept it all quite private really, I asked her dad’s permission. There’s only about half a dozen people who knew, Adele didn’t have a clue.

‘She was chuffed, she didn’t have a clue. She was very, very surprised.’

Prince William congratulates Mr Gallimore on his award

Popping the big question

Mr Gallimore and the palace agreed that he would propose in the quadrangle, a courtyard in the middle of the palace, after receiving his award from the Duke of Cambridge on Tuesday

On what it meant to be recognised with the honours, Mr Gallimore said: 'We're from a council estate and getting told at school you're never going to achieve anything, because I'm dyslexic, and now I'm quite well known in my community'

On what it meant to be recognised with the honours, Mr Gallimore said: ‘We’re from a council estate and getting told at school you’re never going to achieve anything, because I’m dyslexic, and now I’m quite well known in my community’

The couple celebrated their special day with drinks at The Ritz Hotel in the capital followed by dinner at The Ivy.

Mr Gallimore called the earlier investiture ceremony ‘lovely’, adding that he was pleased William was the royal who presented him with the honours.

He told PA: ‘I said to my parents beforehand if it wasn’t the Queen doing it, I would have liked it to have been him.

‘I know all of the royal family have done military time, but I’ve got a lot of time for William and Harry.

‘Once I knew it was him I was a bit more relaxed to be honest. If it had been the Queen I’d have been panicking.’

Mr Gallimore said the duke had called the engineer’s military and charity work ‘amazing’, and added: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if I see you here again in the future.’

The couple recently bought a house together and have a 20-month-old son, George.

Ms Thomasson also has nine-year-old daughter Emily.

On what it meant to be recognised with the honours, Mr Gallimore said: ‘We’re from a council estate and getting told at school you’re never going to achieve anything, because I’m dyslexic, and now I’m quite well known in my community.

‘My family are thrilled to bits, my mum, my dad, especially my partner. Everyone is more than chuffed.’

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