The eight pallbearers who carried the Queen’s coffin have been awarded the silver Royal Victorian Medal in recognition of the important role they played at her funeral.
Lance Sergeant Alex Turner, Lance Corporal Tony Flynn, Lance Sergeant Elias Orlowski, Guardsman Fletcher Cox, Guardsman James Patterson, Lance Sergeant Ryan Griffiths, Guardsman Luke Simpson, and Guardsman David Sanderson were selected to be pallbearers from the King’s Company (then Queen’s), 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.
The soldiers were named as recipients of honours under the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) in recognition of their service to the Queen, as part of a special set of Demise awards.
Awards under the RVO are in the King’s gift and are bestowed independently of Downing Street to people who have served the monarch or the royal family in a personal way.
The soldiers carried the coffin draped in the Royal Standard as millions of people around the world watched the ceremony last September.
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 during the broadcast of the Queen’s funeral, with viewers describing themselves as holding their breath when the guardsmen had to carry the coffin up the steps to the West Door of St George’s Chapel.
Tory former minister Eddie Hughes said: “I held my breath for every step… These lads are amazing.”
Fellow Tory MP Tom Hunt said at the time: “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.”
Carla Lockhart, Upper Bann’s DUP MP, said: “Amidst the pageantry and occasion, eight young men silently went about their duty.
“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. Thank you.”