AS my family will attest, I have lived a very strange and eventful life.

None of it really planned, but things always seem to work out in the end just so long as you put in the effort.

So, it came as no surprise when I was invited to the coronation of the King.

I have absolutely no idea why I was selected for such an honour when I believe that there are so many more deserving cases around than I, but of course, on behalf of Clacton, I accepted!

The fabulously embossed official invitation arrived with instructions not to bring it with me to the abbey - that one’s just for framing.

A purple standard invitation would see me safely into the Abbey and up the lift to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Gallery.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Giles Watling (Conservative MP for Clacton) Picture: House of Commons

It was from this vaulted height that I was to experience one of the most moving and exhilarating spectacles that the world has to offer.

My instructions told me to assemble in ancient Westminster Hall along with a small collection of parliamentarians and military men at 07.00.

Morning suits, No. 1 uniforms and ermine abounded.

After a cup of coffee and a bun I took it upon myself to go to the Abbey, a stone’s throw away, through throngs of police guarding empty roads.

I said that I’d never seen so many coppers in one place. One of them agreed with me – neither had he. There were 11,000 of them in all.

Once safely ensconced in my seat I settled down for the long wait for the main event – and by George it was a long wait.

After two or three hours my legs had stiffened up and so had those of my affable neighbour, Sir Roger Gale MP.

The good news about being in this lofty gallery is that we could get up and move around.

A lot of us did whilst pitying those below who had no such opportunity.

The views afforded were amazing – right down the nave to the Great West Door, and to my left a view down to the thrones set aside for the King and Queen.

We also had TV screens, enabling us to watch other areas in and around the abbey and to see the great and the good arriving.

As we neared the appointed time for our King to meet his fate at 11.00, it occurred to me that that cup of coffee mightn’t have been such a good idea.

In the eventuality the sheer sense of wonder put that to the back of my mind.

Foreign heads of state, commonwealth leaders and royal families processed down the nave to their places, followed eventually by our own royal family.

A moment of awkwardness which was palpable came when Prince Andrew entered followed by Prince Harry, on his own – all very sad.

Then came the arrival of their Majesties the King and Queen and expectation ruled the space.

Then an interesting and unexpected transformation took place. The King was his usual public self, an epitome of bonhomie and goodwill, but as he progressed, it appeared that the majesty of the occasion overtook him and he became sombre – and when the Bishops took him by the arms and guided him to his place he even looked vulnerable.

This was exacerbated when he was divested of his garments until he was wearing only a simple smock.

He said his lines clearly and on cue and was guided to the Throne of Coronation where the screens cut him and his bishops off from the rest of the watching world and he was anointed – in total privacy - in the arcane fashion of the ancients. Watched only by God.

I felt so privileged to be there and so touched by the proceedings.

All the rituals handed down by generations made it seem spiritual and must have done to even the most hardened of realists. I’m not ashamed to say that I wept – discreetly.

Having stripped the King of all worldly possessions, the Archbishop of Canterbury gradually gave them all back to him.

Reclothed in splendour and in possession of his sceptre and orb and crowned, slightly awkwardly, he was then presented to his people, and we swore allegiance. And he promised to serve.

With his newly crowned Queen he processed out of that amazing building and into the future. An extraordinary event to witness.

The stage management was perfect and the performers on the top of their game.

As I was above proceedings, I had the weird experience of hearing all the stunning musical performances live from below whilst watching screens which were a microsecond out of sync.

In the end I closed my eyes and gave myself up to the aural effect – truly magical.

After some six hours we were given leave to go. Time had flown by and I am left proud and humbled by being given such an opportunity to represent my community in Clacton at such an event.

And I’m delighted to be able to report that my bladder proved to be up to the task, despite that cup of coffee.