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Guard from Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral suddenly dies

Queen Elizabeth (Michael Gwyther-Jones/Flickr)
October 03, 2022

An 18-year-old soldier assigned to the Household Cavalry of the British Royal Family, who was in Queen Elizabeth II’s recent funeral ceremony, was recently found dead under unknown circumstances.

The Guardian reported British Army trooper Jack Burnell-Williams was found unresponsive at Hyde Park Barracks near Buckingham Palace just after 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

Williams had participated in Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral last month, walking with the royal coffin from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch.

“Tragic news ‘Wonderful’ soldier, 18, who walked alongside Queen’s coffin during her funeral procession is found dead at his barracks,” the ASA Forces Charity tweeted. “Household Cavalry trooper Jack Burnell-Williams, played a key role in the royal send-off as one of the men who protected her coffin.”

The exact cause of Williams’ death is unknown at this time. The London Metropolitan Police told the Guardian that his death had been referred to a coroner.

“It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams on 28 September 2022 at Hyde Park Barracks,” a British Army spokesperson said in a statement to the Guardian. “Our thoughts are with the soldier’s family and friends at this difficult time and we ask that their privacy is respected.”

Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, at the age of 96. She had served as the United Kingdom’s largely-ceremonial monarchy for nearly 71 years, from Feb. 6, 1952 until her death.

The queen made a special break with tradition on the day after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks when she had the Bands of the Household Division play the “Star Spangled Banner” in honor of U.S. and the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terrorist attack. The queen again had the royal band and guard hold a special ceremony at Windsor Castle on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, where the band again played the U.S. national anthem.