Soldiers who returned from Iraq to be Queen Elizabeth's pallbearers praised for their faultless service

Publish Date
Wednesday, 21 September 2022, 3:55PM

The pallbearers who carried the Queen’s coffin as millions around the world watched have been singled out for praise after faultlessly completing their monumental task.

The eight men from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards - this unit of the British Army has a close connection with Her Majesty - were responsible for moving the late monarch's 500lb (227kg) lead-lined coffin 10 times on its journey from Westminster Hall, where her body lay in state, to her state funeral at Westminster Abbey and then on to St George's Chapel in Windsor for a committal service

But their duty didn't end there, as they also stayed on to move the Queen's body from the Royal Vault to its final resting place in The King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle in a private service yesterday evening.

Paying tribute to the work of the Armed Forces at the funeral, General The Lord Dannatt, the UK's former Chief of the General Staff, singled out the pall bearers' efforts.

He wrote in a comment piece for the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "It is invidious to single out any individual or unit for particular praise as the cast list is so varied, but spare a thought for one group of young men — the pallbearers from the Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

"Recalled at short notice from the Middle East to fulfil their long-planned and traditional duty, they literally have the full weight of responsibility on their shoulders."

He continued: "A lead-lined coffin is very heavy and manoeuvring their precious load up and down steps, on and off gun carriages and catafalques, in and out of vehicles — all under the constant gaze of billions on television, not to mention the concerned scrutiny of His Majesty The King, the Royal family and senior members of the Household Division — is no easy task.

"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."

The soldiers were reportedly given specially made rubber boots to help them carry the coffin.

The identities of the young men are unknown, however, their service will undoubtedly be remembered by the world for years to come.

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