andrew.157barton at btinternet.com
Thu Jan 6 02:53:29 GMT 2011
The nearest British equivalent to Aral's funeral may have been the state funeral in 1979 given to Earl Mountbatten of Burma, a near relative of the Queen who had been the last Viceroy of India. I found a detailed account by the Leader of the Coffin Bearers at his funeral which probably tells you as much as you want to know, if not more, of the practical details and problems of the job - such as when they discovered that the three-ton gun carriage intended to carry the coffin was two inches too short ...
The actual bearers were drawn from the Navy (Mountbatten having had a naval career himself) but I remember that Princes William and Harry both took turns among the ceremonial guard during the lying in state.
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