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Member of Queen's gun carriage crew shares touching words after historic state funeral

A post has been shared on the Royal Navy's account

queen gun carriage
Gemma Strong
Online Digital News Director
21 September 2022
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The Royal Navy took on an important role at the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II on Monday.

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Sailors from the armed service were given the honour of pulling the late monarch's coffin on a carriage following the service at Westminster Abbey.

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They escorted her in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, at Hyde Park Corner.

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The route was lined with police officers and military personnel, with gun salutes firing and the Elizabeth Tower - also known as Big Ben - tolling at one-minute intervals as the procession moved through the streets of London.

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The Royal Navy had the honour of pulling the gun carriage

Now, one of those gun carriage members has broken his silence on his role at the historic event.

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A post has been shared on the official Instagram page for the Royal Navy, which reads: "My dad said to me: 'You'll be marching in the footsteps of your grandfather' and that really hit me.

View post on Instagram

A touching post has been shared on the official website

"I would like to think that my grandfather was looking down watching, and feeling as proud as me and my family."

It is credited to Weapons Engineer, Joe McGonagle-Turner.

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The Queen's coffin was carried on a 123-year-old gun carriage and pulled by some 98 Royal Navy sailors for the two-mile procession. A further 40 members marched behind the vehicle – which weighed around two-and-a-half tonnes - to act as brakes.

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More than 100 sailors took part in the procession

The Queen had a special connection to the Navy. Her father, King George VI, served with them before and during World War I.

Her beloved husband, Prince Philip, also famously served in the Navy – as did her sons King Charles and Prince Andrew, while Prince Edward joined the Royal Marines. Her only daughter, Princess Anne, holds a number of titles linked to the Navy.

queen navy

The Queen had a special personal connection to the Royal Navy

In 2017, the Queen gave a personal speech while standing on HMS Queen Elizabeth at the ship's commissioning ceremony.

"As the daughter, wife and mother of naval officers, I recognise the unique demands our nation asks of you and I will always value my special link with HMS Queen Elizabeth, her ship's company and their families," she said at the time.

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