Soldier, 18, who guarded Queen's coffin found dead: 'Heartbroken'

A ‘wonderful’ teenage soldier who guarded the Queen’s coffin during her funeral has died.

The 18-year-old trooper Jack Burnell-Williams had an important role during the procession, tasked with protecting the monarch’s coffin from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch.

L: Jack Burnell-Williams in his military gear. R: Soldiers carry the Queen's coffin
Jack Burnell-Williams (Left) guarded the Queen's coffin during her funeral. Photo: Facebook & Getty

According to MailOnline, the Household Cavalry trooper was found dead in Hyde Park Barracks, London, on Wednesday afternoon.

Paramedics and police rushed to assist the young soldier when the call came at 3.48pm but he was pronounced dead at the scene.


Police are not treating the teenager’s death as suspicious.

His mother Laura Williams shared the tragic news about her son, affectionately dubbed Jak, on Facebook.

“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,” she wrote alongside a photo of the late soldier.

His aunt Jayney also posted a tribute to her beloved nephew, writing: “No words can express what [our] family is going through. My brother Dan’s first son Jak Williams, my handsome nephew has sadly been taken from us.”

Jack’s girlfriend Molly Holmes added: “Forever going to miss you my love. Truly heartbroken.”

Jack Burnell-Williams wears military armour holding a sword as he sits atop a horse
His family was devastated by the tragic news. Photo: Facebook

The soldier is believed to be a recent recruit and took part in a number of ceremonial events to send off the Queen.

It is thought that he guarded King Charles III and senior royals during the coffin’s procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey.

It wasn’t long before other friends and family sent their condolences.

“Oh my god, I am so so sorry, Jak was a lovely boy. I was only talking about him the other day. Sending my love to you all,” one person wrote.

“Omg Laura. My deepest condolences. So heartbreaking,” added a second.

“If you need anything please let me know, I send my love to you all and I can’t believe he’s gone,” another said.

Jack Burnell-Williams wearing army gear and taking a selfie in the mirror
His girlfriend said she was 'heartbroken' and will miss him 'forever'. Photo: Facebook

His family are planning to release blue balloons tomorrow in his memory, as a nod to his time in the Blues and Royals troop.

Jack’s parents had previously shared multiple photos and videos of her son working as a soldier during the Queen’s state funeral.

“My son doing his duty for the Queen on her final journey, so proud of you Jak Williams xx very proud father xx,” wrote his father Dan Burnell.

“So proud of my boy accompanying his Queen on her final journey,” Laura added.

An Army spokesperson gave a statement to MailOnline: “It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams on September 28 at Hyde Park Barracks. Our thoughts are with the soldier's family and friends at this difficult time and we ask that their privacy is respected.”

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