'Flawless': State funeral pallbearers praised for their service to the Queen

Queen's state funeral pallbearers
The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II being carried by pallbearers at the State Funeral held at Westminster Abbey. Credit: PA

The guardsmen who carried the Queen’s coffin have been praised for their professionalism and composure at the state funeral.

Soldiers from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, carried the coffin draped in the Royal Standard as millions of people around the world watched the ceremony.

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 work of the eight pallbearers was highlighted by people watching the events as they took place in Westminster and Windsor.

Carla Lockhart, Upper Bann’s DUP MP, said: “The weight of the world on their shoulders, the glare of the world on them, but they were flawless." She added that they did "themselves, their families, and our country proud".

Tory MP Tom Hunt said: “I can’t imagine how hard and emotionally challenging it must have been to have carried Her Late Majesty’s coffin just once.

“They’ve done it time and time again this week. With billions watching. They’ve done Her Late Majesty and the country proud."

Presenter Lorraine Kelly said: "These lads were faultless - such a difficult duty carried out impeccably."

The British Army says that 12 of the Grenadier Guards' "very best soldiers" had been chosen for the solemn duty of providing the bearer party at Her Majesty’s funeral.

Amongst those tasked with carrying the Queen's coffin was 19-year-old Fletcher Cox from Jersey.

Laura Therin, a staff sergeant with Jersey's Army Cadet Force, says his former instructors were delighted and "incredibly proud" of the young man and his achievements.

She told ITV News: "I've known Fletcher since he first started with the Cadets. He always was a very organised young man who lived and breathed Cadets.

"He always knew he wanted to go into that line of work - it always was his passion, and it's so great to see that paying off."

Another young man who served as a pallbearer in Edinburgh, where the public was able to pay tribute to the Queen Lying in Rest, was Fijian Ben Tubuna of the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Jersey teenager Fletcher Cox was one of those selected to carry the Queen's coffin, ITV News' Alex Spiceley reports.

“I feel great, I feel happy,” Ben’s father Semi Tubuna told ITV News from Fiji last week.

“First time, for me, to hear that he is one that is chosen from a big country like that, I cry. "The whole nation of Fiji, I can say, we are all proud.”

ITV News correspondent John Irvine spoke to Ben Tubuna's proud family last week.

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 said: “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.”

On the day the Queen died, the unit was deployed on operations in Iraq but returned to take part in the ceremonial events.

The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know.