Guardsman from Queen Elizabeth II's Funeral Found Dead at Army Barracks in London
An 18-year-old guardsman who walked with Queen Elizabeth II's coffin during her funeral just two weeks ago was found unresponsive Wednesday at army barracks in London.
Jack Burnell-Williams served with the Household Cavalry, having walked with the Queen's coffin from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch, before he was found dead at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge just before 4 p.m. local time on Wednesday, per The Guardian.
"It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams on 28 September 2022 at Hyde Park Barracks," an army spokesperson told the publication. "Our thoughts are with the soldier's family and friends at this difficult time and we ask that their privacy is respected."
Tragic news ‘Wonderful’ soldier, 18, who walked alongside Queen’s coffin during her funeral procession is found dead at his barracks. Household Cavalry trooper Jack Burnell-Williams, played a key role in the royal send-off as one of the men who protected her coffin. @HCav1660 😢 pic.twitter.com/Q1XMTg12Qc
— ASA Forces Charity 🇬🇧 (@AncreSommeScot) September 30, 2022
Burnell-Williams' death, while "unexpected," is not being treated as suspicious following an inspection, Metropolitan Police shared in a statement to PEOPLE. "Officers will assist with preparing a report for the coroner."
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"Never ever thought I would be saying this but we as a family are all heartbroken with the sudden passing of our wonderful son Jak Williams yesterday," his mother, Laura, reportedly shared to Facebook, per The Independent, before her posts were either privatized or removed.
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Days before his child's death, Dan Burnell shared several videos of his son — who family seemingly called "Jak" — taking part in Queen Elizabeth's surface, alongside the caption "My son doing his duty for the queen on her final journey, so proud of you Jak Williams xx very proud father xx."
Jak's sister, Elisha, shared a message on Friday that the family will be letting off balloons in his memory Saturday at the Bryntirion Football Club.
"Please spread the word and join us in celebrating my boys life," she wrote in a post. "Blue colors to be worn preferably and also blue balloons."
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Her Majesty's state funeral was held at Westminster Abbey in London on Sept. 19, where 2,000 leaders and royals from around the world attended. A committal service at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle was then held, and the Queen was eventually buried beside her husband, Prince Philip, her father, King George VI, her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mothe,r, and her sister, Princess Margaret.
The Queen's cause of death was recently revealed as old age, per a document published by National Records of Scotland on Thursday. She died peacefully at Balmoral Castle.