Sandy man 'honoured' to be pallbearer at Prince Philip's funeral

George Whyte is in the Queen's company of the Grenadier Guards

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:01 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:02 am

A man from Sandy was honoured to be a pallbearer at the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral last weekend.

George Whyte, who turned 23 on the date of the funeral (Saturday, April 17), is in the Queen s company of the Grenadier Guards - an infantry regiment of the British Army - and was chosen alongside seven fellow grenadiers to perform the role of coffin bearer.

The funeral for His Royal Highness Prince Philip took place at an intimate ceremony at Windsor Castle and was broadcast to the nation.

George Whyte was chosen alongside seven fellow grenadiers to perform the role of coffin bearer. Photo: Getty Images
George Whyte was chosen alongside seven fellow grenadiers to perform the role of coffin bearer. Photo: Getty Images

The pallbearers at Prince Philip's funeral were members of the military, specially selected from the Duke's long career with armed services.

They made up the bearer party, lifted His Royal Highness' coffin from the Land Rover and carried the coffin up to the West Steps ahead of the service.

George's mum, Zoe Nesbitt, said: "As his mum I was over the moon that he would be performing such an honourable part in the funeral. He always works hard at being the best he can be and I knew he would perform this duty with absolute professionalism.

"The guards are a close unit of soldiers and work very well together. There was no doubt they would perform to a high standard.

"I thought the funeral was a wonderful send off for His Royal Highness and seeing your own son carrying the coffin out of the building knowing how important that job was and knowing thousands were watching him was exciting, emotional and of course a very proud moment for myself and our family.

"It was George's birthday on the day of the funeral and I am sure that will be a birthday he will always remember.

"I am sure for all the military involved on the day it was an honour like no other, but also their duty and they were just performing their job."

George, a former Sandy Secondary School student, joined the army cadets aged 12, and went on to Harrogate Military College when he was 16.

Zoe added: "He joined the army cadets as he had an interest in becoming a Grenadier Guard following a picture he saw in a newspaper and remembers how smart they looked.

"He loved cadets and would spend hours learning how to iron creases into his uniform and polish boots well. He would always take part in the yearly poppy memorial day and marched with pride."

Following his pass out he joined the Grenadier Regiment of the infantry and has served with them for six years, he is now a Lance corporal in the grenadier guards.

As a grenadier, George performs a dual role as an infantry soldier and also a ceremonial soldier guarding the palaces in London, Buckingham Palace and St James Palace, the Crown jewels at Tower of London and the Royal family at their home in Windsor castle.