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Queen’s pallbearers praised for their composure while carrying the coffin


Pallbearers from the British Army who weeks ago were serving in Iraq have today been celebrated for their role in carrying the Queen‘s coffin – with admirers across Britain declaring: ‘They have done our nation and Her Majesty proud.’

The world held its breath as the eight soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards inched their way meticulously up the steep steps of St George’s Chapel, in Windsor, this afternoon carrying the 96-year-old’s monarch on their shoulders. 

Earlier, soldiers from the same unit had seamlessly transferred the Queen’s coffin from Westminster Hall and on to a gun carriage, which carried the late Monarch to the state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

On a busy day for the team from the exemplary-as-ever Grenadier Guards, the soldiers sprang into action once again to carry the coffin up the aisle of Westminster Abbey for the service.

Without a hint of a slip-up, the eight men 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.

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. 

And 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.

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

Members of the Grenadier Guards carrying the coffin of the Queen up the steps of St George VI Chapel at Windsor Castle

Members of the Grenadier Guards carrying the coffin of the Queen up the steps of St George VI Chapel at Windsor Castle

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

The Grenadier Guards seamlessly transferred the Queen's coffin today, moving it safely to each point in the funeral and procession

The Grenadier Guards seamlessly transferred the Queen’s coffin today, moving it safely to each point in the funeral and procession 

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

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

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 

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

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 today 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. 

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 today

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

The pallbearers' perfect display during Her Majesty's state funeral on Monday was celebrated by celebrities and politicians on social media

The pallbearers’ perfect display during Her Majesty’s state funeral on Monday was celebrated by celebrities and politicians on social media

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

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.

Among those who were part of the team carrying the Queen included 19-year-old Guardsman Fletcher Cox, from Jersey. 

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 British Army infantry regiment who are world famous for their red tunics and bearskins, and they can often be seen guarding the 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 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 Grenadier Guards 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.  

The former Army Cadet left his home at 16 to begin his training with the military. 

Positioned at the rear of the pallbearing team, his role at the Queen’s funeral left his former Army Cadet instructor, Laura Therin bursting with pride. 

‘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,’ she told ITV Jersey. 

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

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. 

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.

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 today

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 today

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

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.  

Queen Elizabeth II’s reign symbolically comes to an end with ceremonial ‘breaking of the wand’: St George’s Chapel sings ‘God Save the King’ as Charles III departs memorial and family head to private service

By Rory Tingle for MailOnline

An ancient tradition known as the ‘breaking of the wand’ took place today to symbolically mark the end of the Queen‘s reign as St George’s Chapel burst into a rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’. 

In a moving ceremony, the Lord Chamberlain – who oversees much of the royal household – snapped his Wand of Office, before placing it to the Queen’s coffin before it was lowered into the Royal Vault. 

The breaking of the staff, which was traditionally used to discipline noisy courtiers, signifies the end of his service to the Queen. 

Andrew David Parker, who served as director general of MI5 from 2013 to 2020, had served from April last year. King Charles III will now appoint his own Lord Chamberlain to run the role under his new duties as monarch.

The ceremonial gesture, which took place at the Queen’s committal, was last performed more than 70 years ago at George VI’s funeral but this was the first time it has ever been televised. 

Shortly afterwards, the Queen was laid to rest with her beloved husband Prince Philip after her crown, orb and sceptre were removed from her coffin so she could descend into her grave ‘as a simple Christian soul’. 

The Lord Chamberlain, Andrew David Parker prepares to break his Wand of Office

The symbolic moments transfers power from the Queen, signalling the end of her reign

This was the moment that The Lord Chamberlain, Andrew David Parker, broke his Wand of Office in a symbolic moment when power transferred from the Queen

The Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office before the Queen's coffin is lowered as King Charles III watches on intently behind him

The Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office before the Queen’s coffin is lowered as King Charles III watches on intently behind him 

The breaking of this staff signifies the end of his service to the Queen. King Charles III will now appoint his own Lord Chamberlain to run the role under his new duties as monarch

 The breaking of this staff signifies the end of his service to the Queen. King Charles III will now appoint his own Lord Chamberlain to run the role under his new duties as monarch

The ceremonial gesture, which took place at the Queen's committal, was last performed more than 70 years ago at George VI's funeral but this was the first time it has ever been televised

The ceremonial gesture, which took place at the Queen’s committal, was last performed more than 70 years ago at George VI’s funeral but this was the first time it has ever been televised

The Lord Chamberlain placed the broken staff on the Queen's coffin, symbolising the end of his service to her. The coffin was then lowered into the Royal Vault

The Lord Chamberlain placed the broken staff on the Queen’s coffin, symbolising the end of his service to her. The coffin was then lowered into the Royal Vault 

Baron Parker of Minsmere, who served as director general of MI5 from 2013 to 2020, took over the position in April last year

Baron Parker of Minsmere, who served as director general of MI5 from 2013 to 2020, took over the position in April last year

The Royal Family stood at the end of the short service as the Queen was slowly lowered down into the royal vault while the Dean of Windsor said: ‘Go forth upon thy journey from this world, O Christian soul.’ 

He also offered the commendation – a prayer in which the deceased is entrusted to God’s mercy.

Moments earlier the Dean had placed her crown and other crown jewels on the altar before the Queen’s staff of office was snapped – signifying the severing of the Queen from her service in death.

The Garter King of Arms then pronounced the styles and titles of the Queen as all power moved to her son, the King.

Charles looked deeply moved as the coffin was lowered – on a day where he appeared tearful on a number of occasions as he said goodbye to his mother, the 12th British monarch to be buried at Windsor.

Her Majesty’s long journey to her final resting place – and to be reunited with the Duke of Edinburgh – began in Balmoral on the day of her death 11 days ago and will end with her private interment at the castle’s St George’s Chapel this evening where the King will scatter earth on his mother’s coffin at 7.30pm at a private family service.

Britain’s longest reigning monarch had been carried into the historic church followed by Charles III, her children and grandchildren including Prince Harry and Prince William.

St George’s was where the Queen had sat alone during the funeral of Prince Philip last year – in one of the most poignant images of the pandemic – and it was where she had loved to worship for so many years when at Windsor.

The Queen is laid to rest for eternity in St George's Chapel in Windsor as her coffin is lowered into the royal vault following her state funeral at Westminster Abbey this morning

The Queen is laid to rest for eternity in St George’s Chapel as her coffin is lowered into the royal vault following her state funeral at Westminster Abbey

The Crown Jewels were poignantly removed from the casket to show that the Queen's reign was at an end before it went down to the royal crypt

The Crown Jewels were poignantly removed from the casket to show that the Queen’s reign was at an end

The King looks moved as her mother is finally laid to rest during the service of committal. In a touching tribute to his mother, Charles sat in the same seat the Queen had sat in for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral during the Covid-19 pandemic

The King looks moved as her mother is finally laid to rest during the service of committal 

The overwhelmed monarch then turned away as he said goodbye to his mother and her power and titles moved to him

The overwhelmed monarch then turned away as he said goodbye to his mother and her power and titles moved to him

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look at the Queen's coffin as the Royal Family mourn her loss

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex look at the Queen’s coffin as the Royal Family mourns her loss

As the crown jewels were removed, Princess Charlotte pointed and spoke to her mother as Harry and Meghan looked on

As the crown jewels were removed, Princess Charlotte pointed and spoke to her mother as Harry and Meghan looked on

The Sussexes and the Wales' sing as Her Majesty the Queen had her symbols of monarchy removed along with her titles

The Sussexes and the Wales’ sing as Her Majesty the Queen had her symbols of monarchy removed along with her titles

The coffin of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II rests in George's Chapel, Windsor

The coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II rests in George’s Chapel, Windsor

The royal family were united in their loss, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex briefly back with the family they left, but as the Queen’s son the Earl of Wessex said in tribute, in death, as in life, they were sharing their “beloved mama” with others.

Hundreds of thousands lined the Queen’s funeral procession that carried the monarch from lying in state at Westminster Hall to her state funeral and on to Windsor Castle for the committal service.

Her state hearse arrived at the royal fortress strewn with flowers after the sight of the Queen had been cheered and applauded by mourners along the route.

When the Queen was lying in state, a river of people flowed past her coffin, paying their respects over four days.

At the end there were touching moments, with the Queen’s fell pony Emma, held by her stud groom and manager, standing a few feet from the coffin as the procession entered the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Lena Tindall, Zara Tindall, Mia Tindall, the Duchess of Sussex, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, Prince George, and the Prince of Wales, stand for the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign's orb and sceptre

Lena Tindall, Zara Tindall, Mia Tindall, the Duchess of Sussex, the Duke of Sussex, Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, Prince George, and the Prince of Wales, stand for the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, draped in the Royal Standard with the Imperial State Crown and the Sovereign’s orb and sceptre

Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, Prince George, and the Prince of Wales as they say goodbye to the Queen

Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, Prince George, and the Prince of Wales as they say goodbye to the Queen

Charles, Camilla, Princess Anne and Prince Edward sat together in the service

Charles, Camilla, Princess Anne and Prince Edward sat together in the service

Waiting in the royal residence’s quadrangle were her two corgis Muick and Sandy – gifts from her son the Duke of York – as the funeral procession passed.

The Queen was head of state but also a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and, in a personal touch, the wreath adorning her coffin had a handwritten note from the King.

The message said: “In loving and devoted memory. Charles R”.

Charles had requested the floral tribute, which replaced a wreath of Balmoral flowers, with foliage and blooms cut from the gardens of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Highgrove.  



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