Britain’s King Charles III on Saturday recognised in a special Demise honours list the eight pallbearers who carried the late Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin at her funeral last year.
The British soldiers, who were selected to be pallbearers from the King’s Company of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards – known as the Queen’s Company previously – have been awarded the silver Royal Victorian Medal. They were named as recipients of honours as part of a special set of Demise awards under the Royal Victorian Order (RVO) in recognition of their service to the Queen, who died aged 96 last September.
The RVO is bestowed by the British monarch and unlike other royal honours, it is not on the advice of the Prime Minister, as a special recognition of those who serve the monarch and the royal family.
It dates back to the 19th century and was founded by Queen Victoria in 1896. 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 carried the coffin as millions of around the world watched the funeral on September 19, 2022.
The unit had a close connection with the Queen because as the serving monarch she held the position of Company Commander and made a personal review of the company every decade.
Pallbearers who carried the Queen’s coffin at her lying-in-rest ceremony in Edinburgh also recognised in the special honours list are the Queen’s closest adviser Angela Kelly.
She was the Queen’s personal assistant, adviser and curator, worked for the monarch for more than 25 years and was made a Commander of the RVO.
According to UK media reports, during the Covid-19 lockdown, Kelly was among those believed to be part of a small group dubbed the “HMS Bubble” that the Queen isolated with along with her late husband Prince Philip.