Grenadier Guards will bear Her Majesty's coffin at state funeral

Grenadier Guards are on notice to take part in memorial events.. and will also bear Her Majesty’s coffin at state funeral

  • The Grenadier Guards will bear the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at her funeral
  • The pallbearers will be at least 6ft tall and wear rubber boots to avoid slipping
  • Guardsmen were put on six hours’ notice to take part in events to mark her reign
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

The Grenadier Guards will lead the Army’s contribution to the state funeral of Her Majesty the Queen.

Elizabeth II was the regiment’s Colonel-in-Chief and its senior company is called the Queen’s Company.

However, as the Queen’s Company is currently deployed on force protection duties in Iraq, a company made up of newly qualified guardsmen is expected to step in.

Last night, guardsmen were put on six hours’ notice to take part in events to mark her reign, which are known to the troops as Operation Bridge. They were ordered to have haircuts and prepare their ceremonial tunics. Coffin bearers, known as the Bearer Party, have been selected from Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The Grenadier Guards will lead the Army’s contribution in memorial events for Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip prior to The Queen’s Company Grenadier Guards ceremonial review in 2003

Queen Elizabeth II, then a princess,  during a visit to carry out an annual inspection of the 14th company, Grenadier Guards in 1949

Queen Elizabeth II, Colonel-in-Chief, Grenadier Guards, having her photo taken with the Guards after inspecting them in 2013

The Grenadier Guards who carry the coffin will wear special rubber boots to reduce the chance of slipping

The six coffin bearers, all of whom stand at least 6ft tall, will be issued with rubber boots so they are less likely to slip while carrying Her Majesty. A Guards source said: ‘The soles of normal guard boots are made of wood and steel and are very slippery. So it is much safer to wear rubber.

‘But the rubber boots are only issued for special occasions so there is a rush on to get everyone involved fitted.

‘In the absence of Queen’s Company, Nijmegen Company will lead the funeral party and provide guards as and when Her Majesty is lying in state.’

Yesterday afternoon the Grenadier Guards’ drill sergeant – who is responsible for ceremonial duties – summoned senior soldiers for a briefing at Lille Barracks in Aldershot. Troops from regiments that traditionally take part in such occasions, including the Royal Artillery who perform gun salutes, were put on stand-by.

The Grenadier Guards is the most senior regular Army regiment and dates back to 1656 – it was raised as Lord Wentworth’s Regiment to protect the exiled Charles II.

State events to mark the passing of Her Majesty will include personnel from the Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.

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