‘Flawless under pressure’: Family and friends praise pallbearers who carried the Queen’s coffin

‘Flawless under pressure with the world watching on – you’ve done your village proud’: Family and friends heap praise on pallbearers who carried the Queen’s coffin – as Brits petition to set up a ‘drinks fund’ for the young soldiers

  • Relatives and friends of the eight ‘hero’ pallbearers praised the young soldiers for making their country proud 
  • One father said he had tears in his eyes as he watched his son carry the Queen’s coffin on her final journey
  • The team of troops from the Grenadier Guards faultlessly carry Her Majesty’s coffin into St George’s Chapel 
  • Five of the men were flown back to the UK from Iraq within hours of the Queen’s death being announced
  • They wore rubber-soled boots to avoid slipping and the crown jewels were fixed to roof of the Queen’s coffin 
  • Calls are also now growing for the eight soldiers to be recognised for their service yesterday with a medal 
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

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The friends and families of the ‘hero’ pallbearers who carried the Queen‘s coffin yesterday have praised the young soldiers for making their country proud. 

With the eyes of the world on them, the eight soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards raised and put down the Queen’s 500lb lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on her journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor. 

And while their steady shoulders impressed all of those who watched yesterday, it is their friends and families who are today bursting with pride, with many calling for them to receive medals and for ‘drinks funds’ to be set up for the young men. 

One of the pallbearers, Luke Simpson, has been praised by his local football team for his flawless performance under such enormous pressure.

A post on Selston Football Club’s Facebook page read: ‘Respect to you Luke Simpson, flawless under pressure with the whole world watching on. You have done your country, village, family and friends proud!’

The youngster from Nottinghamshire also left his father crying with pride after he carried the Queen’s coffin during the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall last Wednesday.

 Mark Simpson said: ‘We had a tear watching but they have all done us proud.

‘It’s been an honour to watch this and see them all doing their best for the country and the Crown.

‘We are so proud of Luke.’

Friends and relatives have praised Luke Simpson (second from front on the right) and the other 'hero' pallbearers, with some calling for a 'drinks fund' to be set up for the young soldiers. Pictured: King Charles, Camilla, Queen Consort, Anne, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it departs Westminster Abbey

Friends and relatives have praised Luke Simpson (second from front on the right) and the other ‘hero’ pallbearers, with some calling for a ‘drinks fund’ to be set up for the young soldiers. Pictured: King Charles, Camilla, Queen Consort, Anne, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Sophie, Countess of Wessex follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it departs Westminster Abbey

Luke Simpson from Nottinghamshire left his father crying with pride after he carried the Queen's coffin during the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall last Wednesday. He continued to make relatives proud yesterday when he and seven others flawlessly raised and put down the Queen's 500lb lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on her journey from Westminster Hall to St George's Chapel in Windsor

Luke Simpson from Nottinghamshire left his father crying with pride after he carried the Queen’s coffin during the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall last Wednesday. He continued to make relatives proud yesterday when he and seven others flawlessly raised and put down the Queen’s 500lb lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on her journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor

A post on Selston Football Club's Facebook page read: 'Respect to you Luke Simpson, flawless under pressure with the whole world watching on. You have done your country, village, family and friends proud!'

A post on Selston Football Club’s Facebook page read: ‘Respect to you Luke Simpson, flawless under pressure with the whole world watching on. You have done your country, village, family and friends proud!’

Arm in arm, the pallbearers made their way tentatively up the steps of St George's Chapel as the world held its breath

Arm in arm, the pallbearers made their way tentatively up the steps of St George’s Chapel as the world held its breath

Luke was praised along with Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones, who walked ahead of Her Majesty’s oak coffin, by local MP Lee Anderson. 

In a post on Facebook, he said: ‘Ashfield Lads. Luke and Aaron doing their duty and making their families and the whole of Ashfield feel incredibly proud. Serving Queen and country.’ 

CS Jones, from Long Eaton, Derbyshire, also received lots of praise online from friends and relatives.

One family member said: ‘Stunning work Dean Jones and Queens Company Grenadier Guards leading the Queen to her final journey. #proudfamily.’

Another person added: ‘Well done to all the coffin bearers today. Dean Jones you have done Long Eaton proud.’

The married father-of-one marshalled his young team of pallbearers, which included 19-year-old Fletcher Cox.

The teenager, from Jersey, was at the back of the coffin both during yesterday’s funeral and during the procession of the Queen’s casket from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall – where the late Monarch lay in state for four days.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II being carried by the right pallbearers leaving the State Funeral held at Westminster Abbey yesterday

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II being carried by the right pallbearers leaving the State Funeral held at Westminster Abbey yesterday

The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George's Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family

The pallbearing team of eight Grenadier Guards inched their way up the steps of St George’s Chapel in Windsor and were followed by members of the Royal family

Cox was part of his school’s Army Cadet Force and was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s medal in 2018 – the highest honour a Jersey cadet can be given.

He left the Channel island at the age of 16 to attend a military training college in the UK and is now in the ranks of the Grenadier Guards.

People praised pallbearer Luke Simpson (pictured before a cadet camp in 2016) for doing his village of Selston proud

People praised pallbearer Luke Simpson (pictured before a cadet camp in 2016) for doing his village of Selston proud

The team, each of whom is required to over 6ft tall, did not put a foot wrong all day as they shouldered her coffin, with each soldier wearing rubber-soled boots to avoid slipping on the highly polished stone floors.

The unenviable task appeared more difficult as the Queen’s crown, orb and sceptre were balanced on top of her coffin.

But as the soldiers held the coffin’s brass handles, they walked in the knowledge that the lid had fittings to fix the jewels in place.

At one point, it appeared the flowers placed on the wreath atop the coffin began to wobble, but the pallbearers masterfully tilted it just enough to secure the foliage without drawing any attention.

Having faultlessly carried the coffin into Westminster Abbey as 2,000 esteemed guests from around the world watched, the eight soldiers were called upon again as Her Majesty was transported by State Hearse to Windsor Castle. 

The task of lifting the coffin up the steep stairs of the 450-year-old St George’s Chapel was nerve-wracking but their unblemished performance throughout the emotional day earned the praise of the nation with admirers across Britain declaring: ‘They have done our nation and Her Majesty proud.’

Yesterday was the first state funeral since that of Sir Winston Churchill in January 1965. The pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards were all awarded the British Empire Medal for their service that day.

Now calls are growing for the eight soldiers to also be recognised for their role in the historic funeral yesterday.

One person tweeted: ‘What a send off for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. As one reporter put it, this was history before us, solemn, spectacular and intense. 

‘But I would like to say well done to the pallbearers. Impeccable, faultless and such honour for their Queen. You deserve a medal lads.’

Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones (pictured left) was at the front of the coffin, leading the eight pallbearers in exemplary fashion yesterday

Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones (pictured left) was at the front of the coffin, leading the eight pallbearers in exemplary fashion yesterday

Fletcher Cox, a 19-year-old from Jersey, was also among the pallbearers. He was at the back nd during the procession of the Queen's casket from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall - where the late Monarch lay in state for four days.

Fletcher Cox, a 19-year-old from Jersey, was also among the pallbearers. He was at the back of the coffin both during yesterday’s funeral and during the procession of the Queen’s casket from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall – where the late Monarch lay in state for four days

Last night the Grenadier Guards paid their own tribute to Her Majesty following yesterday's events. In a Facebook post, they said: 'With a huge sense of privilege, but also with great sadness, hundreds of soldiers and officers today took part in Her Majesty The Queen's funeral in London and Windsor. The eyes of the world were upon them as they laid HM Queen Elizabeth II to rest.'

Last night the Grenadier Guards paid their own tribute to Her Majesty following yesterday’s events. In a Facebook post, they said: ‘With a huge sense of privilege, but also with great sadness, hundreds of soldiers and officers today took part in Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral in London and Windsor. The eyes of the world were upon them as they laid HM Queen Elizabeth II to rest.’

One of Queen’s pallbearers is 19-year-old Grenadier Guard from Jersey with a ‘passion’ for serving in the Armed Forces

One of the Grenadier Guards chosen to be a pallbearer for the Queen’s coffin is a teenager from the island of Jersey.

Fletcher Cox was part of a group from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The former Grainville student was part of his local Army Cadet Force, where he was awarded the Lieutenant-Governor’s medal in 2018 – the highest honour a Jersey cadet can be given.

Speaking to ITV, Laura Therin, a staff sergeant with Jersey’s Army Cadet Force, said of Cox: ‘We were all quite astounded – seeing him wasn’t something any of us were expecting, but we’re all so incredibly proud of Fletcher and his achievements.

‘I’ve known Fletcher since he first started with the Cadets. He always was a very organised young man who lived and breathed Cadets.

‘He always knew he wanted to go into that line of work – it always was his passion, and it’s so great to see that paying off.’

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A second said: Such a sad and momentous day today with the Queen’s funeral, but I’ve got to say those eight young men/pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards carrying the Queen’s coffin on her final journey were absolutely faultless. Even going up the steps of St George’s Chapel. They deserve a medal.’

A third added: ‘Hope the Pallbearers get a special mention somewhere & a medal for their efforts today…they were amazing especially climbing those steps.’

As tens of thousands lined the streets for the processions, their task started before the cameras had been switched on and long after they were turned off. 

As the four days of the Queen’s coffin lying in state came to an end at 6.30am, preparations immediately began for the state funeral later the same morning.  

At 10.21am, the eight pallbearers, at least five of whom were just weeks ago serving in Iraq, arrived to carry out their daunting duty.

Meanwhile, the gun carriage used to transport the Queen from Westminster Hall to the Abbey was readied in front of the door, with 148 sailors accompanying it.

At 10.41am, the King’s equerry took its place behind the sailors, signalling that the royals were ready to begin the procession.

The pallbearers then seamlessly transferred her coffin on to gun carriage, before standing in silence for five minutes. 

Once outside, the soldiers sprang into action once again to carry the coffin up the aisle of Westminster Abbey in front of 2,000 esteemed guests.

Without a hint of a slip-up they then transferred the coffin out of the Abbey and back on to the carriage, where it was moved in procession up The Mall and Constitution Hill to Wellington Arch.

With their enormous task not yet completed, the soldiers returned again to move the coffin into a hearse to be driven to Windsor, where they took on perhaps their most difficult task of the day – carrying the coffin up the steps to the more than 500-year-old St George’s Chapel. 

The eight pallbearers prepare to carry the coffin, with the crown jewels resting on top of it, up the steep stairs leading into St George's Chapel, Windsor

The eight pallbearers prepare to carry the coffin, with the crown jewels resting on top of it, up the steep stairs leading into St George’s Chapel, Windsor

Of the team of guards taking part in the historic spectacle, five are understood to have been flown back from a deployment in Iraq in the hours after it was announced the Queen had died, on Thursday, September 8

Of the team of guards taking part in the historic spectacle, five are understood to have been flown back from a deployment in Iraq in the hours after it was announced the Queen had died, on Thursday, September 8 

The herculean effort to lift Her Majesty's casket and transport it so gracefully throughout the day - without fault - left people on social media stunned. Pictured: The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried towards Saint George's chapel for her funeral at Windsor castle, Britain

The herculean effort to lift Her Majesty’s casket and transport it so gracefully throughout the day – without fault – left people on social media stunned. Pictured: The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried towards Saint George’s chapel for her funeral at Windsor castle, Britain

The pallbearer party were all of The Queen¿s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. The unit had a close connection with the Queen - as the serving monarch she held the position of company commander and made a personal review of the company every decade

The pallbearer party were all of The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards. The unit had a close connection with the Queen – as the serving monarch she held the position of company commander and made a personal review of the company every decade

With the eyes of an estimated 4.1billion people from across the globe on them, the unnamed soldiers performed faultlessly, garnering the admiration of people across social media, including celebrities, who praised their professionalism. Pictured: The coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth arrives outside St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle

With the eyes of an estimated 4.1billion people from across the globe on them, the unnamed soldiers performed faultlessly, garnering the admiration of people across social media, including celebrities, who praised their professionalism. Pictured: The coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth arrives outside St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

It's thought the 96-year-old monarch's specially crafted, lead-lined oak casket weighs more than 500lb. The guards are understood to have been given specially-built rubber boots to help stop them slipping on the smooth stone steps of the chapel, which is more than 500 years old

It’s thought the 96-year-old monarch’s specially crafted, lead-lined oak casket weighs more than 500lb. The guards are understood to have been given specially-built rubber boots to help stop them slipping on the smooth stone steps of the chapel, which is more than 500 years old

The choir sang as the pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards carried the coffin into St George's Chapel in Windsor for the Queen's committal service

The choir sang as the pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards carried the coffin into St George’s Chapel in Windsor for the Queen’s committal service

The Royal Family and European royals watch as the coffin is carried towards the altar

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into St George's Chapel along the centre aisle of the nave to the catafalque

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into St George’s Chapel along the centre aisle of the nave to the catafalque

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II in to St George's Chapel for a committal service at Windsor Castle

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in to St George’s Chapel for a committal service at Windsor Castle

The Royal Family official Twitter account shared this poignant image of the final service to honour the Queen at St George's Chapel, in Windsor

The Royal Family official Twitter account shared this poignant image of the final service to honour the Queen at St George’s Chapel, in Windsor 

Revealed: The Queen’s crown was bolted to her coffin after her grandfather’s bejewelled Maltese Cross fell into the gutter during his funeral

Her Majesty’s Imperial State Crown, orb and sceptre which balanced atop the Queen’s coffin were screwed down to prevent a previous historical mishap, it is revealed.

Back in 1936 George V’s bejewelled Maltese Cross – which contains some of the biggest jewels in the Crown – fell off into the gutter while it rested on the coffin during his royal funeral procession.

It was said to have been a bad omen, especially after his son, Edward VIII abdicated, causing a constitutional crisis, a short time later, and was replaced by Queen Elizabeth II’s father, George VI.

So in light of this terrifying moment, The Times reports, it was been fastened down with all the other jewel fittings to the Queen’s coffin while lying in state and during her funeral not to repeat the misfortunate incident.

Signifying the severing of the Queen from her public service in death, the objects was seen to have been later removed by the Crown Jeweller in St George’s Chapel as she entered the royal crypt as a ‘simple Christian soul’ instead of Monarch.

The Imperial State Crown then rested on the high altar after being removed from the coffin. It was placed there by the The Dean of Windsor, The Rt Revd David Conner. 

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And as the public watched the Queen’s coffin be lowered into the vault where her beloved Prince Philip lies, the hero guardsmen had one more task – perhaps the most important of the day.

According to General The Lord Dannatt, the UK’s former Chief of the General Staff, their final task was to move the Queen into her final resting place next to her beloved Prince Philip – 11 days after her death in Balmoral.

Singling them out for praise in a comment piece to The Daily Telegraph, in which he lauded the Armed Forces personnel for their involved in yesterday’s funeral, he wrote: ‘These young guardsmen deserve particular praise. 

‘Even when the cameras are switched off at the end of the day and the final private service of committal is being held at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, their duty will not be over.

‘Deep in the Royal Vault under the chapel, the pallbearers will have one final unseen duty — to move the late Queen’s body to its final resting place close to her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, and to her father, King George VI. 

‘Once all is complete, then these young men too can relax and reflect on their very difficult job, extremely well done.’

Laura Therin, a staff sergeant with Jersey’s Army Cadet Force, told ITV last week that his former instructors were delighted and proud of everything he’s achieved since then:

She said: ‘We were all quite astounded – seeing him wasn’t something any of us were expecting, but we’re all so incredibly proud of Fletcher and his achievements.

‘I’ve known Fletcher since he first started with the Cadets. He always was a very organised young man who lived and breathed Cadets.

‘He always knew he wanted to go into that line of work – it always was his passion, and it’s so great to see that paying off.’     

The herculean effort to lift Her Majesty’s casket and transport it so gracefully throughout the day – without fault – left people on social media stunned.

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre, into her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre, into her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey

The pallbearers of the Grenadier Guards carry the Queen's coffin into Westminster Abbey, followed by members of the royal family

The pallbearers of the Grenadier Guards carry the Queen’s coffin into Westminster Abbey, followed by members of the royal family

Senior church figures lead the procession into Westminster Abbey followed by members of the Royal Household, then the coffin, being carried by the pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards and later senior royals

Senior church figures lead the procession into Westminster Abbey followed by members of the Royal Household, then the coffin, being carried by the pallbearers from the Grenadier Guards and later senior royals

Pallbearers carry the Queen's coffin up the aisle of Westminster Abbey, followed by members of the royal family, ahead of her funeral yesterday

Pallbearers carry the Queen’s coffin up the aisle of Westminster Abbey, followed by members of the royal family, ahead of her funeral yesterday

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, from the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch in London

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, from the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch in London

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown in the Ceremonial Procession following her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown in the Ceremonial Procession following her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey

Pallbearers were followed by members of the Royal Family, including King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princes William and Harry

Pallbearers were followed by members of the Royal Family, including King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princes William and Harry

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown during the Ceremonial Procession following her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey

Pallbearers carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown during the Ceremonial Procession following her State Funeral at Westminster Abbey

More than 3,000 personnel from all three wings of Britain's military took part in the procession to Buckingham Palace

More than 3,000 personnel from all three wings of Britain’s military took part in the procession to Buckingham Palace 

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, from the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch in London

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, from the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch in London

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, from the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, from the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch in London

Pallbearers transfer the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard, into the State Hearse at Wellington Arch in London

The Grenadier Guards: An elite army unit with more than 350 years of history – famed for their battlefield skills and their central role in parades

The pallbearer party were all of The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The Grenadier Guards are an elite infantry regiment world famous for their red tunics and bearskins and are often seen guarding Royal Residences. 

It can trace its lineage back to 1656 when it was raised in Bruges to protect a then exiled George II.

The unit has been involved in a number of conflicts, including the Napoleonic Wars and both World Wars and most recently Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recruits take part in a grueling 30-week training course – two weeks longer than standard infantry units.   

It holds a close connection with the Queen – as the serving monarch she held the position of company commander and made a personal review of the company every decade.

The Duke of Edinburgh was also a Colonel of the company from 1975 and visited the Battalion on many occasions, including UK-based exercises and on operations. 

The unit has always historically provided pallbearers for the Monarchs.  

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One person described the young soldiers as the ‘top tier, crème de la crème’ of pallbearers.

While another person tweeted: ‘I am in awe of the pallbearers. The Queen’s casket weighs between 550 & 700lbs. They have carried & walked with her carefully & without fault throughout the day. Anyone else hold their breath up those steps?’

Another impressed by the guards’ actions added: ‘Those 8 pallbearers deserve a medal. The anxiety I’ve had just watching – especially on the steps… they’ve done themselves and everyone watching proud.’  

The guard’s first action involved tentatively lifting the Queen’s coffin onto the ceremonial gun carriage, which would pull her the short distance from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, where her funeral service took place place.

Under the glare of the world’s press, the eight soldiers worked as a team, walking slowly through the Abbey followed closely by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla. 

Hundreds of people – from world leaders and global royalty to the great and the good of the UK – watched as the pallbearers marched through the centre historic building, which is more than 1.000 years old.

The pallbearers’ composure also attracted attention from celebrities and politicians.

Carla Lockhart, Upper Bann’s DUP MP, said: ‘Amidst the pageantry and occasion, eight young men silently went about their duty.

‘The weight of the world on their shoulders, the glare of the world on them, but they were flawless. They did themselves, their families and our country proud. Thank you.’

Broadcaster Stephen Fry was more succinct: ‘Bearer Party, to the pub – quick march. Bearer Party, lift tankard. Bearer party, down beer. You’ve earned it.’ 

Later, the team again carried the late sovereign’s casket back out and onto the gun carriage, which was pulled to Buckingham Palace amid unprecedented scenes of support from the British public.

More than one million people are predicted to have lined the streets to witness to the historic spectacle, which involved some 3,000 military personnel. 

Members of the Grenadier Guards previously were pallbearers for the Queen's coffin moving the casket into Westminster Hall for her lying in state

Members of the Grenadier Guards previously were pallbearers for the Queen’s coffin moving the casket into Westminster Hall for her lying in state

Members of the unit were also pallbearers for the Queen's coffin on Wednesday when it was transferred from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall

Members of the unit were also pallbearers for the Queen’s coffin on Wednesday when it was transferred from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall

They transferred the coffin, with the royal crown on top, into the famous hall where the Queen was left to lie in state for four days

They transferred the coffin, with the royal crown on top, into the famous hall where the Queen was left to lie in state for four days 

Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state in Westminster Hall inside the Palace of Westminster, from Wednesday until a few hours before her funeral on Monday,

Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state in Westminster Hall inside the Palace of Westminster, from Wednesday until a few hours before her funeral on Monday,

Pallbearers from The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall

Pallbearers from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards carry the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II into Westminster Hall

The Grenadier Guards moved the Queen's coffin into Westminster Hall following a procession from Buckingham Palace

The Grenadier Guards moved the Queen’s coffin into Westminster Hall following a procession from Buckingham Palace

The pallbearers carried the coffin through the hall to the centre, where the Queen was left to lie in state for four days before her funeral yesterday

The pallbearers carried the coffin through the hall to the centre, where the Queen was left to lie in state for four days before her funeral yesterday

Pallbearers from The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards place the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on a Catafalque in Westminster Hall on Wednesday

Pallbearers from The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards place the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II on a Catafalque in Westminster Hall on Wednesday

It was the first State Funeral since that of Sir Winston Churchill, on January 30, 1965. 

The pallbearer party were all of The Queen’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The unit had a close connection with the Queen – as the serving monarch she held the position of company commander and made a personal review of the company every decade.

It’s understood the Queen’s Company deployed to Iraq in July to enhance ‘the training of the Iraqi security forces’, according to the squad’s official Twitter account.

The Queen’s Company will retain its name up until the monarch is laid to rest, and will later change to reflect the new King.

Former British Army soldier Major Adrian Weale told the PA news agency: ‘They became the Queen’s Company immediately after the death of George VI and the Queen has been commander ever since.

‘It’s their role to protect her body, both in life and in death, remaining the Queen’s Company until King Charles decides otherwise. Their duties will then be transitioned to the next monarch.’

The Grenadier Guards is the most senior regular Army regiment and dates back to 1656.

In total, about 4,000 military personnel were involved in the funeral parade. This includes Commonwealth personnel but not logistics or support staff.

In central London, more than 3,000 members of the military took part in the ceremonies. 

About 1,500 UK service personnel joined the processions while 175 Commonwealth service personnel took part in the parade to Wellington Arch

Some 1,000 military personnel lined the London procession routes with 380 troops providing guards of honour and static bands

In Windsor, more than 1,000 forces personnel joined the ceremonial activity. 

Guards who bore her aloft and were there to the last: Thousands of troops pulled off a remarkable display of pageantry to give Queen a fitting sendoff… with eight guardsmen recalled from Iraq to load casket into hearse 

By Mark Nichol for the Daily Mail 

By delivering a masterclass in ceremonial duties yesterday, thousands of troops paid a most fitting tribute to Her Majesty the Queen.

That was the verdict of leading military figures watching awestruck as the British and Commonwealth personnel pulled off a remarkable display of pageantry.

All eyes, including an estimated television audience of 4billion, were on the eight guardsmen placing the monarch into the royal hearse at Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner. The members of the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion the Grenadier Guards, had been handpicked for the prestigious but daunting role. Last night, they were showered with plaudits as hours earlier they had been showered with flowers while marching along the Mall.

The pallbearers, who were flown back from operational service in Iraq to take part in yesterday’s funeral, were guided throughout by Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones.

All eyes, including an estimated television audience of 4billion, were on the eight guardsmen placing the monarch into the royal hearse at Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner.

All eyes, including an estimated television audience of 4billion, were on the eight guardsmen placing the monarch into the royal hearse at Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner.

The tall warrant officer, resplendent in a ceremonial red tunic, walked ahead of Her Majesty’s oak coffin which weighed over 500lb due to its lead lining. His team did not put a foot wrong as first they shouldered her coffin into and out of Westminster Abbey and, later, as they carried her up a flight of steps into St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

Dan Jarvis MP, a former major in the Parachute Regiment who served in Afghanistan, said: ‘Special praise must go to those young men who carried the massive weight of responsibility of being a pallbearer.

‘With the eyes of the world fixed upon them, the pressure must have been beyond extreme. That they did it flawlessly brings enormous credit on them, their unit and the armed forces.’

Writer and comedian Stephen Fry spoke for the nation when he tweeted: ‘Bearer Party, to the pub – quick march. Bearer Party, lift tankard. Bearer Party, down beer. You’ve earned it.’

The members of the Queen¿s Company, 1st Battalion the Grenadier Guards, had been handpicked for the prestigious but daunting role

The members of the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion the Grenadier Guards, had been handpicked for the prestigious but daunting role

Also at the forefront of the procession were the 148 sailors who accompanied the State Gun Carriage. The massed ranks of Royal Navy personnel marched arm in arm at 75 paces per minute, drawing the carriage forward by ropes in a solemn tradition dating back more than a century.

The State Gun Carriage was first used at Queen Victoria’s funeral on February 2 1901. The two-and-a-half tonne carriage subsequently appeared at the funerals of three monarchs, King Edward VII, King George V and King George VI, as well as the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten.

Former equerries to the Queen marched alongside her hearse accompanied by members of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms and Yeomen of the Guard. The grand procession was formed of seven groups, each supported by a band. Mounties of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police led the first group, followed by representatives of the George Cross foundations of Malta, the Royal Ulster Constabulary and troops from Australia and New Zealand.

Current and former service chiefs also took part. Another former military officer, Tobias Ellwood MP, said: ‘The scale and splendour of our military, as we said goodbye to our Queen, was nothing short of outstanding.’

Last night, they were showered with plaudits as hours earlier they had been showered with flowers while marching along the Mall

Last night, they were showered with plaudits as hours earlier they had been showered with flowers while marching along the Mall

While 1,650 troops took part in the procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, a further 1,000 lined the route through London and another 1,000 performed ceremonial and security duties in Windsor.

In total, 5,948 members of the Armed Forces deployed on Operation London Bridge – as plans for Her Majesty’s passing were known – since her death. And around 175 troops from Commonwealth countries also took part. The Queen’s Company – from which the pallbearers were drawn – was named after the late monarch and she was its honorary commander. Her Majesty also became Colonel-in-Chief of the Grenadier Guards earlier this year, replacing Prince Andrew.

Once she had been driven by hearse to Windsor, there was another symbolic act to acknowledge her affiliation with the Queen’s Company. Moments before she was entombed in the Royal Vault, King Charles III draped its colours over her coffin.

The Queen’s Company is expected to be renamed in the King’s honour later this year. He may also inherit his mother’s honorary colonelcy of the regiment.

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