Queen Elizabeth's pall bearers had one final duty

·3-min read
Queen Elizabeth's pall bearers had one final duty credit:Bang Showbiz
Queen Elizabeth's pall bearers had one final duty credit:Bang Showbiz

The soldiers who carried Queen Elizabeth's coffin during her funeral service also moved her body to its final resting place.

Eight men from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards were responsible for moving the late monarch's 500lb 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 The King George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor Castle in a private service on Monday (19.09.22) 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 pall bearers 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.

"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."

Lord Dannatt also promised the "pride and professionalism" will once again be on display when King Charles' coronation ceremony takes place within the next year.

He wrote: "Walking on is what we all must do now. We have a new King; we have a new Prime Minister. There are many challenges ahead. However, of one thing I am sure: the detailed planning for the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III is well under way when, once again, we will see the pride and professionalism of the British Armed Forces on display. We mourn our late Sovereign’s death; quite properly we grieve; we give thanks; we pause a while and then equally properly we celebrate our new Sovereign’s coronation.

"The bands will march again down the Mall, the harnesses of the Household Cavalry will jangle, the Monarch will enter the Abbey and St Edward’s crown will be placed on his head. God save the King."