Royal fans spotted one of the Queen’s most loyal and long serving servants getting a key role in the sad funeral procession today. Paul Whybrew Queen Elizabeth II’s personal Page was known as ‘Tall Paul’ to her Majesty – and is easy to spot.
Many fans felt emotional seeing someone who was so close to the Queen getting such a role in the procession. Tall Paul marched in front of the hearse as the Queen’s coffin passed tens of thousands of mourners and circled round the Queen Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace. The 6ft 4ins servant was one of the queen’s closest aides and is said to have spent a lot of time with her in her final days at Balmoral.
In his role as Serjeant at Arms he travelled in a horse drawn carriage along with the Ceremonial Maces from Buckingham Palace to attend the State Opening of Parliament. Many royal watchers noticed him leading the way.
Brammall said: “All praise to Tall Paul for is duty towards The Queen.” Andrew Downes added: “Fairly easy to pick out Paul Whybrew… “ Tall Paul” as the Queen called him…one of HM’s most loyal and trusted servants for decades….Page of the Backstairs. Thank you Sir for your service to our beloved Queen…”
Lisylou Photography said: “Feel like crying to see ‘tall Paul’ walking in front of the hearse. Just as he walked by the Queens side alongside Daniel Craig during the famous Olympics sketch. #queensfuneral.” jomilleweb added: “Tall Paul who was page to the Queen gives me a lot of emotions right now!”
A lot of people noticed he was standing next to someone even taller. Adam Parsons explained: “There are two very tall people. To the right is 6’4 Tall Paul, the loyal page. In the middle is 7’2 Matthew Magee, less well known but much taller.”
Thousands of people stood for hours or made makeshift camps in order to catch a glimpse of the Queen’s funeral procession. Enduring chilly temperatures and some rain showers, well-wishers came together to say a final goodbye to their late monarch.
Many carried camping chairs or set out blankets while others draped themselves in the Union flag. The crowd was at least 30 deep in parts of central London and large numbers gathered in Hyde Park, where the funeral service was shown on big screens.
In Windsor, thousands more gathered on the Long Walk – the route the coffin will go on its way to Windsor Castle. The state hearse will slowly make its way past them before it enters the grounds for a committal service and private burial.
One woman, Marion King, celebrated her 59th birthday on Monday after camping on Horse Guards Road in London for two days. She and sister Carol Argent, both from Ashford in Kent, set up camp on Saturday night.
Ms King said: “We’ve been here since Saturday evening at 9pm to find the spot and for the atmosphere. “We’ve been doing this since the age of 10. I used to be a girl guide. We brought a gas stove, tea, coffee and three bottles of wine which have already run out.
“But there’s a Tesco over the road so we’ll go there soon. We’ve met loads of nice people: Kiwis, South Africans and Canadians.
“We have all made a WhatsApp group and will meet again for the coronation. First our group was just from the UK, now we have the whole Commonwealth around us.”
Elsewhere, a pearly king and queen expressed their heartbreak at potentially missing the funeral after public viewing areas in central London became full on Monday morning. Jimmy Jukes, 67, pearly king of the London boroughs of Camberwell and Bermondsey, said he would be “devastated” if he could not see the procession.
Mr Jukes, who was given an MBE for charity work by the Queen in 2015, added: “We just wanted to pay our final respects to her.” Michelle Thorpe, 55, pearly queen of Southwark, added: “Considering the Queen loved the pearlies, it’s especially tough.”
One Metropolitan Police officer came straight from his shift to be with his family for the funeral procession. Darren O’Brien, 53, who is part of the Met’s parliamentary diplomatic and protection group, said it was “surreal” to be on shift at Westminster Hall between 1.30am and 2am on Monday for the Queen’s lying in state.
“You’re overcome by what you see,” he said, adding that people “pass you and the next minute they are crying”. Mr O’Brien, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, who served in the Army for over five years and participated in 18 Trooping the Colour events, said being at the hall gave him a “much closer attachment” to the funeral. Speaking at Constitution Hill, he added that it was “the right thing to come down and pay my respects”.
He said he wanted his daughters Sophie, 11, and Hollie, nine, to be at the Queen’s funeral and learn from her as a “good role model”. Christine Birch, 61, her husband Stephen Birch, 58, and friend Margaret Frost, 68, left Bakewell, Derbyshire, in the early hours of Monday to pay their respects to the late monarch from Constitution Hill.
An emotional Mrs Birch said: “It’s strange to come down to London for something so sad, because normally we come to all the celebrations.
“It’s going to be very emotional for everyone. I think it’s very important that the whole country has come together for this. The least we could all do is to make an effort to pay our respects. She’s given her entire life for all of us.”
Light an online candle and post your tributes to Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her funeral https://queenelizabethiitributes.com/.