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

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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 steps of St George’s Chapel, in Windsor, this afternoon carrying the 96-year-old’s monarch on their shoulders. 

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

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 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

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 

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

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. 

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

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 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.  

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

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.

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

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.  

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