SARAH Townsend couldn’t believe it when she received an invitation to the King’s Coronation in Westminster Abbey.

She was travelling with her parents, Sue and John Lowe, in their car in Cornwall when her mobile phone bleeped and the message came through. “I thought it was a scam,” she recalls.

In fact, it was genuine and on Saturday, she took her place in the abbey with hundreds of others to witness the crowning of King Charles and Queen Camilla.

Mrs Townsend, 48, of Southlawn, Witney, who is deputy district Scout commissioner for West Oxfordshire, said: “It was fantastic. I still can’t believe it.

“I didn’t think anything like this would come to me.”

Another thrill after the two-hour ceremony was meeting two of her favourite TV entertainers, Ant and Dec.

Her day had begun at 5am when she left home in the family car with husband Aubrey and younger son Oliver, 15.

Witney Gazette: Sarah Townsend at the abbey

She made the final part of the journey to the ceremony on the London Underground, with fellow passengers full of admiration for her Coronation attire.

She said: “We were in our seats in the abbey at 8am, but the three hours before the ceremony started went very quickly.

“The music was spectacular.

“It was an inspiring and humbling experience – a day I will never forget.”

After the ceremony, she rejoined her husband and son and they took part in the celebrations outside Buckingham Palace.

Her invitation to Westminster Abbey followed another important occasion when she received the British Empire Medal in last year’s New Year Honours list.

This was in recognition of her “services to the community in Witney, particularly during Covid-19”.

In her role as dispensary manager at the Windrush Medical Practice in the town, she suggested at the start of the pandemic using Scouts to deliver prescriptions to the vulnerable.

Witney Gazette: Sarah Townsend at the Coronation

She recruited 65 volunteers working with all eight pharmacies in Witney.

When the scheme ended in July last year, the team had delivered nearly 7,500 prescriptions to those in need.

After receiving her medal, Mrs Townsend said: “It was a complete surprise and I feel very humbled. This truly was a huge team effort – each and every one of those who helped deserved recognition.”