Sailors at the event last year (Picture: Royal Navy).

Royal Navy personnel at last year's event (Picture: Royal Navy).

For the first time, the Royal Marines have marched through London as part of the city's Pride celebrations this year.

Members of the British armed forces have attended the event celebrating the LGBT+ community for the last 10 years, with hundreds of defence personnel marching in celebration of Pride in London last year.

More than one million people took to the streets of the capital this year, with a parade that began from Portland Place to finish at Whitehall.

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Mike Hill, one of the organisers of the Royal Navy’s involvement in Pride, said:

"It has been almost 20 years since the ban on LGBT+ people serving in the military was lifted, but many people outside of the armed forces still think it’s an exclusively macho organisation.

"That couldn’t be further from the truth.

"The Royal Navy and Royal Marines recognise there is strength in diversity, and the modern armed forces are welcoming of people from all backgrounds."

The naval group at Pride this year was formed of members of 'Compass' - the Navy’s sexual orientation and gender identity network which supports all those serving including reserves, civilians, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and all fighting arms of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

The sailors and Royal Marines marched through central London on Saturday, before heading along Whitehall to salute the fallen at the Cenotaph in recognition of LGBT+ people who have served in the UK armed forces.

Petty Officer Sam Quinn, 23, is a Royal Navy air engineering technician based at HMS Sultan in Gosport. He said ahead of the event: “I am proud to be able to serve openly in the Royal Navy because we believe being yourself is important.

"I’m looking forward to representing the Navy at Pride this year."

During the event, an RAF officer brought smiles to people's faces as he performed The Floss dance:

On Friday, Royal Navy sailors and Royal Marines have sailed down the Thames in support of London's Pride parade:

This year saw nearly 500 groups in the parade, with organisers hailing it as “our most diverse yet”.

Eighteen years ago it was still illegal to serve your country if you were homosexual, with anyone found to be gay being court-martialled, fined and dismissed.

This year, the Royal Navy and Army were judged by Stonewall as two of the best employers in Britain for trans and non-binary staff.