An eighteen-year-old Guardsman who walked behind the Queen’s coffin during her state funeral procession has been found dead at his London barracks.
Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams, 18, took on an important role at the Queen’s state funeral last Monday, less than two weeks before he was found to have passed away.
Police and paramedics from London Ambulance Service were called to Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge, London, at 3.48pm on Wednesday in an attempt to save the young man.
However, there was nothing they could do and Burnell-Williams was tragically pronounced dead at the scene.
The soldier’s mother Laura, 42, shared an emotional tribute to her son – known as Jak to family and friends – alongside a picture of the young troop, adding: “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.”
Police are not currently treating the death as suspicious, reports the Mail Online.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “An 18-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.
“The death was unexpected, it has been investigated and is not being treated as suspicious. Officers will assist with preparing a report for the coroner.”
At Her Majesty’s funeral, Burnell-Williams guarded the late monarch’s coffin as it made its final journey earlier this month, much to the delight of his family and friends.
His family proudly declared that their son was “doing his duty for the Queen on her final journey”.
They had posted a video of troops from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, including the late soldier, taking part in the ceremony as Elizabeth II made her way to her final resting place.
On the day of the Queen’s funeral, the soldier’s dad Daniel Burnell wrote: “My son doing his duty for the Queen on her final journey. So proud of you Jak Williams xx very proud father xx”
The heartbroken father was reportedly told of his son’s death hours after it happened on Wednesday.
Burnell-Williams’ girlfriend Molly Holmes wrote on social media: “Forever going to miss you my love. Truly heartbroken.”
The young trooper’s sister Elisha added: “We will get through this together as a team. We need to do him just as proud as he’s done us.”
Meanwhile, his aunt Jodie Danks said: “Such heartbreaking news. I can’t believe you’re gone. You was taken way too soon. We all love you so much my handsome nephew. You made us all so proud. Rest in peace.”
Burnell-Williams from Bridgend, South Wales, was likely one of the Household Cavalry’s most recent recruits at just 18 years of age.
To celebrate his life and mark his untimely death, his family will release blue balloons into the sky tomorrow.