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Queen to honour Philip's closest aides for role in funeral to mark poignant birthday

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The Queen issued the Demise Awards to a number of men on what would have been the Duke of Edinburgh’s 100th birthday today. This has included Philip’s private secretary Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, who was made a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO). He was Philip’s treasurer and also his right-hand man for 11 years after taking on the role in 2010.

William Henderson, who was the Duke’s page, has now become a Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order (LVO).

And Philip’s valet David Berwick, who worked for the Queen’s consort for 46 years after joining his staff in 1975, has been made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO).

They were also invited to walk behind his coffin as it was carried through the grounds of Windsor Castle on a Land Rover hearse during his funeral in April.

They followed Charles, the Prince of Wales, Princes William and Harry, and other members of the family as they made the slow walk to St George’s Chapel for the poignant service.

The Queen has also honoured the Land Rover crew, who played a part in the funeral.

Philip designed a Land Rover Defender TD5 130 as his own hearse, which was used to carry his coffin from the castle to the chapel.

Corporal Louis Murray drove the hearse while Corporal Craig French sat next to him, to ensure the area around the vehicle was clear.

Both men, who also serve in the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, were awarded the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver) for their vital roles.

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And 12 members of the Royal Marines and 12 Grenadier Guards who formed the two bearer parties for the coffin were also named as award recipients.

Most have received the Royal Victorian Medal (Silver), with some being made MVOs including Warrant Officer Class 1 Robert Henderson and Captain Mark Thrift of the Royal Marines, and Lieutenant Alec Heywood and Warrant Officer Class 2 Vandell McLean of the Grenadier Guards.

The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards bearer party was responsible for moving the coffin from Windsor’s private chapel to the inner hall and then on to the hearse.

After the procession, the Royal Marines bearer party lifted the coffin from the vehicle and carried it up the steps and into and through St George’s Chapel.

Philip himself was Captain-General of the Royal Marines for 64 years and was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards from 1975-2018.

Other people honoured included the Duke’s correspondence secretary Suzy Lethbridge, his assistant private secretary Rachel Loryman and his archivist and librarian Alexandra McCreery, who were all made LVOs.

The Queen was also given a rose named after her late husband today.



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