Heroic Queens coffin bearers carry out unseen bittersweet task away from public

Queen Elizabeth II's coffin bearers performed the difficult task of carrying Her Majesty's casket with apparent ease – and their duty continued even after the cameras switched off.

Retired senior British Army officer Lord Richard Dannatt revealed the secret task taken on by the pallbearers as the late monarch made her way to her final resting place alongside her husband Prince Philip.

Writing for the Telegraph, Lord Dannatt said: "Even when the cameras are switched off and the final private service of committal is being held at St George's Chapel, Windsor, their duty [was not] over.

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"Deep in the Royal Vault under the chapel, the pallbearers will have one final unseen duty – to move the late Queen's body to its final resting place.

"Once all is complete, then these young men too can relax and reflect on their very difficult job, extremely well done."

The Queen's pallbearers have received plenty of acclaim over the course of Her Majesty's funeral, with MPs, celebrities and royal fans alike chiming in to sing their praises.

TV presenter Lorraine Kelly said: "These lads were faultless – such a difficult duty carried out impeccably."

Meanwhile 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. They did themselves, their families, and our country proud."

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And while hundreds of groups and individuals came together to make Her Majesty's funeral a success, Lord Dannatt argues that this group of men, who were flown back from Iraq at the last moment especially for the event, deserve a particular moment of praise.

"It is invidious to single out any individual or unit for particular praise as the cast list is so varied, but spare a thought for one group of young men – the pallbearers from the Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards," Lord Dannatt said.

"They literally have the full weight of responsibility on their shoulders.

You can leave your tributes to Queen Elizabeth II here.

"A lead-lined coffin is very heavy and manoeuvring their precious load up and down steps, on and off gun carriages and catafalques, in and out of vehicles – all under the constant gaze of billions on television, not to mention the concerned scrutiny of His Majesty The King, is no easy task."

He added: "Walking on is what we all must do now. We have a new King; we have a new Prime Minister. There are many challenges ahead.

"We mourn our late sovereign's death; quite properly we grieve; we give thanks; we pause and then equally properly we celebrate our new sovereign's coronation."

The soldiers who carried the Queen's coffin are part of the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, which she was commander of and will be taken over by King Charles III following her death.

Former British Army soldier Major Adrian Weale said: "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 men had been deployed in Iraq on the day the Queen died, but flew back upon receiving news of her tragic passing.

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