Knight in shining armour pops question

WHEN Jacqueline Maund described her partner as a knight in shining armour, little did she realise that is what he would become.

WHEN Jacqueline Maund described her partner as a knight in shining armour, little did she realise that is what he would become.

Because when Captain James Preston decided to propose during her surprise 50th birthday party, six months of elaborate planning ensured he lived up to the knight's role.

Not only did he hire a white horse, Capt Preston was in full dress uniform and carrying a sword when he rode into view to pop the question to his stunned future-wife.

His efforts were not wasted, and now the Ipswich couple, who have been together for two years, are planning to wed next year.

Capt Preston, a training officer for Suffolk Army Cadet Force C Company in Ipswich, said: “Last summer we went on holiday to Sicily and she ended up ill and had to go through surgery. I helped her at home and did everything.

“One day, she turned around to me and said 'You are my knight in shining armour'.”

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With his military background, he said that was how the idea for the romantic proposal started.

The 52-year-old said: “It started to spin from there. She didn't have a clue and I planned this for six months with friends.”

He secretly took a riding refresher course at Valley Farm in Wickham Market, which is where he hired the white horse from.

Capt Preston then arranged a surprise 50th birthday party for Miss Maund at Seckford Golf Club - but her surprise was not going to end at just a party.

As she sat unsuspectingly at a table, the sergeant major from the army cadet force appeared to tell her she was needed on the terrace. Two lancers from the cadets acted as an honour guard, and there was also a drummer and bugler.

As she walked outside, her knight in shining armour rode into view. The entire event was broadcast on a webcam so her family in Texas could witness it.

Capt Preston said: “I drew the sword, gave her a salute, dismounted, went down on one knee and proposed. She said 'I love you', and then said 'yes'.”

When asked whether he had been nervous about the evening, he said: “I was absolutely petrified!”

He said they were expecting to marry next year.

Have you popped the question in an unusual way? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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