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Pallbearers who returned from Iraq to carry Queen’s coffin earn praise

T

he 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 soldiers from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, carried the Queen’s 500lb lead-lined coffin, draped in the Royal Standard, throughout her final journey, which ended at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Monday.

Richard Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, said: “These young guardsmen deserve particular praise.”

At least five of the soldiers had been serving in Iraq when the Queen died.

The team, led by Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones, was first seen emerging from Westminster Hall at 10.30am, where the Queen had been lying in state.

PA

They transferred the Queen’s coffin onto a gun carriage for the short journey to the state funeral at Westminster Abbey.

They then carried Her Majesty’s coffin up the aisle of Westminster Abbey for the service, and then out again and back onto the carriage, where it was moved up The Mall and Constitution Hill to Wellington Arch.

The soldiers returned again to move the coffin into a hearse, which was driven to Windsor. While the world held its breath, they then faultlessly carried the coffin on their shoulders up the steep steps of St George’s Chapel.

Their final job was to move Her Majesty into her final resting place, beside Prince Philip in the vault under St George’s Chapel, after the Royal Family held a private ceremony.

Married father-of-one Jones walked ahead of Her Majesty’s oak coffin throughout the day.

His team included 19-year-old Fletcher Cox from Jersey, who was at the back of the coffin. 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.

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