Britons are proud of the performance of Queen Elizabeth’s Grenadier Guards pallbearers, and cries are going up that they should be awarded the British Empire Medal for their impeccable service, as were the members of the same regiment who carried Winston Churchill’s coffin in 1965. Daily Mail:
The steady-shouldered pallbearers who safely carried the Queen’s coffin during her state funeral have won the hearts of the nation amid growing calls for the soldiers to be honoured with medals.
With the eyes of the world on them, the eight soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards raised and put down the Queen’s 500lb lead-lined coffin no less than 10 times on her journey from Westminster Hall to St George’s Chapel in Windsor.
The team, each of whom is required to over 6ft tall, did not put a foot wrong all day as first they shouldered her coffin, with each soldier wearing rubber-soled boots to avoid slipping on the highly polished stone floors.
The unenviable task appeared more difficult as the Queen’s crown, orb and sceptre were balanced on top of her coffin.
But as the soldiers held the coffin’s brass handles, they walked in the knowledge that the lid had fittings to fix the jewels in place.
At one point, it appeared the flowers placed on the wreath atop the coffin began to wobble, but the pallbearers masterfully tilted it just enough to secure the foliage without drawing any attention.
Having faultlessly carried the coffin into Westminster Abbey as 2,000 esteemed guests from around the world watched, the eight soldiers were called upon again as Her Majesty was transported by State Hearse to Windsor Castle.
The task of lifting the coffin up the steep stairs of the 450-year-old St George’s Chapel was nerve-wracking enough alone, but their unblemished performance throughout the emotional day has earned the praise of the nation with admirers across Britain declaring: ‘They have done our nation and Her Majesty proud.’