Members of Queen Elizabeth II’s household staff have paid tribute to their late employer on the day of her state funeral, with many forming a guard of honor outside Buckingham Palace as the monarch’s coffin passed by on its way to Windsor Castle in Berkshire.
From her closest confidents and advisors to chefs, communications assistants and cleaners, the queen’s staff turned out to pay their respects across the ceremonial aspects of Monday’s state funeral.
One of the key members of the queen’s household to attend the funeral at Westminster Abbey was her dresser Angela Kelly.
She was known to share a particularly close bond with the monarch, being given unprecedented permission to sign a three-book deal writing about her experiences working within the royal household.
Kelly has published two books, Dressing the Queen: The Jubilee Wardrobe in 2012, and The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe in 2019.
Kelly’s whereabouts drew speculation in the days leading up to the funeral as she did not attend the public service with other members of staff that marked the beginning of the queen’s lying-in-state at Westminster Hall.
The dresser finally made an appearance at the state funeral on Monday, entering and sitting with Elizabeth’s ladies-in-waiting at Westminster Abbey.
After the funeral service had ended, the queen’s coffin was taken from the abbey to the Wellington Arch to the north of Buckingham Palace.
When the procession reached the palace, a long line of staff had emerged in front of the gates dressed in their uniforms and standing to attention as the coffin passed them by.
The next stage of the ceremonial events of the day, the committal service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, will have an even greater staff presence as members of the household will take part in the proceedings.
The order of service for the committal lists a contingent of the household staff who will process down the aisle of the chapel ahead of the coffin. King Charles III and members of the royal family, including the Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince Harry, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew will follow the queen’s body.
The members of the household staff will include Lord de Mauley, the Master of the Horse, as well as the Master of the Household, Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt, and the Director of the Royal Collection, Tim Knox. Following this trio will also be the queen’s private secretaries, stewards and pages.
One of these pages is Paul “Tall Paul” Whybrew, who served the queen for more than 40 years and made an appearance in her 2012 London Olympics sketch with Daniel Craig as James Bond.
What will happen to the queen’s staff after her death has been widely reported on over the past week. Britain’s The Daily Telegraph wrote that Charles’ staff at Clarence House had been told of possible redundancies, because of the overlapping between his household and the queen’s, for which he is now responsible.
Last week, U.K. newspaper The Times reported that the queen’s staff were now in a six-month “grace-period,” which was written into their contracts in the eventuality of the sovereign’s death. During this time, the head of Charles’ team will look to integrate them into his household or issue redundancies.