Pride London this year was notable for several reasons, but chief among these was the fact that two policeman got down on bended knee to pop the question to their partners.
One of the couples consisted of fellow officers: PC Sam Philpot proposed to PC Martin Coughlan besides the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus on 25 June. Footage of the proposal quickly went around the world.
PC Philpot, 23, only recently came out, and he later told the Evening Standard that he’d only made the decision a few days earlier to pop the question: ‘It was only this week after my last night shift that I decided it was going to happen and I went to buy the ring.
‘If you’re going to do it, you have to do it properly. It happened even better than I had imagined. The crowd reacted amazingly, they seemed pretty pleased for us.’
He says that it had been case of ‘love at first sight’ when he met his husband to be.
PC Coughlan, 28 said, ‘The proposal was totally unexpected. The rest of the Police contingent marching at pride was in on it though and all briefed in advance.
‘My mum and my best friend Adam both turned up and I thought I was just meeting them for a photo halfway down the parade, little did I know.’
Steve Wardlaw, Chairman of Emerald Life, said in a statement, ‘PC Philpot and PC Coughlan both serve our capital in their duties as police officers. They keep us safe. On top of this, they provided the community so much happiness by sharing their special moment with the world on Saturday during the parade. I couldn’t not reach out to them and offer this simple gesture.’
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Coughlan say that it was a ‘massive surprise’ for him and Philpot that their proposal went viral but thinks people were keen for a positive story after the events in Orlando; a tragedy at the forefront of people’s minds.
‘Pride this year was a more somber occasion of reflection on how far we still have to go.’
He said that the two have been so tied up with work commitments since Pride that they haven’t managed to sit down and start planning their big day yet.