King thanks nation for support

MMore than 10,000 military personnel are due to perform their “last duty” to the Queen at her state funeral, the Chief of the Defense Staff has said.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said the “huge” planning for Monday’s Westminster Abbey service had been “going on for a very long time”, and recounted how military leaders were asked to “up their game” and listen to a metronome at 75 beats per minute in order to get the rhythm right for the funeral procession.

He said 6,000 servicemen will be part of the procession along the route to London and Windsor, where the coffin of the late monarch will arrive for a televised incarceration service at the castle, along with more than 10,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen who will be involved overall.

Admiral Sir Tony told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg: “For all of us this is our last duty to Her Majesty The Queen and this is our first important duty to His Majesty King Charles, and we represent the nation, we’re representing our mothers, our grandmothers, our fathers, our friends, and everyone is very, very aware of that.”

He added: “So the army, the Royal Navy, the Air Force, but also our civil servants, and we’re helping other people in London, the emergency services, some volunteers as well, and for that to be a sad occasion, but it is done with the greatest respect and also affection.”

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