Calls for Queen’s pallbearers to be given MBEs after their faultless composure
‘They’ve made the Queen and the Nation proud’: Increasing demand for MBEs to be given to Her Majesty’s wearers after their ‘faultless composure’ during nerve-racking funeral
- The eight pallbearers were handpicked from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards
- Former Chief of Army Lord Dannatt said soldiers should become MBEs
- Said the porters had ’embodied the professionalism of the armed forces’
- MPs Dan Jarvis and Tobias Ellwood supported the soldiers who received the awards
- The Queen’s Funeral: All the latest news and coverage about the royal family
Military leaders, politicians and celebrities have supported the call for the Queen’s impeccable pallbearers to receive medals.
The Grenadier Guards who carried the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Abbey and St George’s Chapel showed incredible composure during the ceremonies.
Watched by the benefactors who lined the streets of London and Windsor – and billions worldwide – they produced a perfect performance.
The eight men, selected from the regiment’s Queen’s Company, were a teenager and a former reservist.
They were led by a ninth soldier, Company Sergeant Major Dean Jones, a married father of one, with another guard at the back of the coffin. Last night, former chief of the army Lord Dannatt, MPs Dan Jarvis and Tobias Ellwood and SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton agreed that the soldiers should become members of the British Empire (MBEs).
There is historical precedent for such an award as the Grenadiers responsible for carrying Sir Winston Churchill’s casket were awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in 1965.
The Grenadier Guards who carried the Queen’s coffin to Westminster Abbey and St George’s Chapel showed incredible composure during the ceremonies
At the time, the BEM was awarded to soldiers of the rank of non-commissioned officer and below for meritorious service. Officers ranked lieutenant and above received the MBE. This distinction ended after a revision in 1993.
Lord Dannatt said the MBE would be an appropriate reward for the wearers who “embodies the professionalism of the armed forces”.
Private Luke Simpson, from Selston, Nottinghamshire, (pictured in front of a cadet camp in 2016) was praised by his former teachers at Ashfield School for his role at the funeral
Mr Ellwood, head of the House of Commons Defense Committee, said: “Their performance made the Queen and the nation proud.” Mr Middleton, a former Special Forces agent, said they “deserved nothing less than an MBE”.
CSM Jones, the eldest of the party, led his young accusers during the ceremonies. Meanwhile, the guards, corporals, and lance sergeants under his command carried the coffin, which weighed more than 500 pounds because of its lead liner, up and down without putting a foot wrong.
Many of them had been on operational service in Iraq and were flown back to the UK for burial.
The youngest of the porters is said to be 19-year-old guard Fletcher Cox from Jersey. The former army cadet fulfilled his childhood ambition by joining the Grenadier Guards.
But he could hardly have imagined carrying the Queen’s coffin.
And Private Luke Simpson, of Selston, Nottinghamshire, was praised by his former teachers at Ashfield School for his role in the funeral. Headteacher John Maher said he took his place “on the podium at such a historic occasion” and performed his duties “so professionally.”
The Defense Department declined to be informed last night whether the porters would be decorated for their exemplary performance at the funeral.