Year 13 Student Sahil Usman was elated when he received an invitation to attend King Charles III Coronation for his services to his community.

Sahil was diagnosed with Leukaemia at the age of 13, and whilst still battling the disease at 15, during Covid-19, Sahil decided he wanted to help vulnerable people in his community by creating gift hampers.

Sahil’s Mum, Mrs Usman said “I am very proud of everything Sahil has done for our community and continues to do. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him to attend the Coronation and be inside Westminster Abbey.”

Sahil very kindly shared his experience from his time in London:

‘Being invited to the Coronation came as quite a surprise, at first I didn’t believe it was real, I thought why would I be invited to the King’s Coronation! Then I saw the email and realised it was genuine. 

I was also selected by the Department of Culture, Media and Sports as one of their key interviewees, due to being 17 and one of the youngest people to attend the King’s Coronation. I was involved in over 60 interviews with various news channels and newspapers, some of the main ones being BBC Breakfast, BBC News and ITV Granada Reports.

I travelled to London on the 5th May and I was called by ITV to do an interview outside Westminster Abbey sharing my excitement leading up to the event. I received an exclusive invite to Buckingham Palace where I was interviewed by Christian Fraser from BBC News and Radio 5 live. This was one of the best moments of my life as Christian Fraser has always been my favourite TV presenter and being able to do an interview with him was a dream come true. I was nervous but he made me feel extremely comfortable.

On the morning of the Coronation, I was granted access to the back of Westminster Abbey where I was interviewed by BBC Breakfast and Good Morning Britain then taken into Westminster Abbey where a front-row seat was reserved for me. At around 11 am all of the Prime Ministers, Commonwealths, Kings and Queens of other countries, and Royal families started to make their way into the Abbey ahead of the arrival of King Charles III and Queen Camilla followed by the Prince and Princess of Wales. It was a very surreal but honourable moment for me, being able to see the King and Queen walk past me just before their crowning. The King and Queen were crowned, and I watched them leave followed by the Prime Ministers. Upon their exit I had the chance to speak to and shake hands with our current Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, he congratulated me on my invitation and asked me about my work in the community. I was then able to speak to Humza Yousuf, the first Minister of Scotland and his wife Nadia El Nakla, who were extremely humble and welcoming, they even wanted a picture with me!  

I spoke to Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, both ex-Prime Ministers and shortly after I met Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, whom I had a good chat with.

The whole experience is one I will never forget. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to attend the King’s Coronation, speak to such honoured people and be interviewed by some of the biggest news channels and presenters in the UK.

I would like to congratulate King Charles III and Queen Camila on their Coronation and thank King Charles III for inviting me to his Coronation.’

Mr Hindle, Head of Sixth Form said, “What a fantastic experience for Sahil and just reward for his contributions to the community over lockdown. He really has some memories from a special event that will stay with him for life. Well done Sahil on a weekend to remember.”