The family of a young guard who died tragically just days after playing a key role in the Queen’s funeral procession is heartbroken by their loss.
Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams, 18, played a key role in the extraordinary procession that guarded Her Majesty’s casket as it was carried in a majestic coach from Westminster Abbey, through Whitehall, past The Mall and past Buckingham Palace to Wellington Arch last month.
But just days later, devastated mother Laura, 42, posted a photo of her son, known to his family as Jak, on horseback in his ceremonial uniform and wrote in an emotional tribute on Facebook: “Never thought I’d say this, but we as a family are all heartbroken by the sudden passing of our wonderful son Jak Williams yesterday.”
Trooper Burnell-Williams, who served in the Blues and Royals, is considered one of the Household Cavalry’s newest recruits. His family from Bridgend, South Wales plans to explode dozens of blue balloons in his memory tomorrow.
Jak’s father would ‘struggle’ after the shocking news. A relative in his modern three-bedroom terraced house in the village of Brackla near Bridgend said: “He is in shock. He’s having a hard time right now and isn’t thinking clearly.’
Heating engineer, Mr Burnell, was informed of the tragedy hours after it happened on Wednesday. Mr Burnell is no longer with Jak’s mother, who also lives in Bridgend.
Police and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service rushed to the Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge, central London after the alarm was raised at 3:48pm on Wednesday. He was pronounced dead on the spot. Police say they do not consider the death suspicious.
On the day of the Queen’s funeral, the soldier’s family proudly posted video footage of Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment troops taking part in the ceremony, saying their son was “doing his duty for the Queen on her last journey.”
Hundreds of tributes poured in for Jak after his mother announced her son’s death.
Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams (left and right) played a key role in the Queen’s funeral procession
Hundreds of tributes poured in for Jak today after his mother announced her son’s death
Jak’s friend Molly Holmes was one of those who posted on Laura’s Facebook page. She wrote: ‘I will miss you forever, my love. Really heartbroken.’
Jak’s sister Elisa wrote: ‘We will get through this together as a team. We must make him as proud as he made us.’
Elisha said family and friends will detonate blue balloons in his memory at Bryntirion Football Club in Bridgend tomorrow at 4pm.
She wrote on Facebook: ‘Spread the word and celebrate my boy’s life with us. Preferably blue colors and also blue balloons.’
His aunt Jodie Danks wrote: ‘What heartbreaking news. I can’t believe you’re gone. You were taken way too early. We all love you so much, my handsome nephew. You made us all so proud. Rest in peace.’
She added: ‘No words can express what’ [we as a] family continues.’
His grandmother, Anita Williams, posted her own tribute to Jak: “My dear boy, we miss you in oh so many ways.
Your cheeky laugh and smile brightened all our days. I can’t believe you left us wondering how and why, but know that you’re looking down on us from the great blue sky.
“Sleep in peace our darling we will meet again.”
One benefactor wrote: ‘So very sad. I am so shocked. We’ve all seen the videos of him doing his duty for the Queen over the past month. Thinking of you.’
An army mom wrote: ‘Absolutely devastated for you as a family. It was a pleasure to have met Jak and for our son to have spent the past two years next to him.’
Another, Tracy Fury, wrote: ‘I’m still reeling from this news. We talked so much about our boys in the military. My heart goes out to you and your family. You can get support and help from the military that you probably already know. Thinking of you.’
Another friend wrote: ‘I’m devastated by you. Jak was a wonderful young man who made you proud not only of his achievements but also of everyone who knew him. I’m so, so sorry, Laura.’
He was found dead in the Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge on Wednesday afternoon
Proud mother Laura posted a series of photos on June 8 of her son in ceremonial uniform during his fainting parade at Hyde Park barracks. In June, just a month after Jak turned 18, she also posted TV footage of her son taking part in the Trooping of the Color as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, captioning it: “One of the proudest days of my life’.
An avid equestrian since childhood, Jak is believed to have overcome a series of injuries to fulfill his dream of joining the elite regiment which is the second highest in the British Army.
The regiment acts not only as a ceremonial guard of the monarch, who is their commander in chief, but also as an armored reconnaissance unit on the front line.
Jak is said to have participated in a series of ceremonial events during the official mourning period following the Queen’s death on September 8 – including guarding King Charles III and senior members of the royal family as the coffin was taken in a carriage procession to Westminster Abbey from Buckingham Palace before being laid out in state.
Laura wrote on September 14: ‘So proud of my boy accompanying his queen on her last journey.’
During the funeral procession on Sept. 19, Household Cavalry soldiers on horseback followed King Charles and other senior Royals, including Prince William and Prince Harry, as they walked behind the Queen’s casket as they rode a carriage to Wellington Arch in Hyde Park Corner in London was drawn.
On the day of the funeral, Jak’s father Daniel Burnell, 41, posted video footage and images of mounted Household Cavalry soldiers taking part in the procession.
“My son is doing his duty for the Queen on her last journey. So proud of you Jak Williams xx very proud father xx,” he wrote.
During the funeral procession on Sept. 19, Household Cavalry soldiers on horseback followed King Charles and other senior Royals, including Prince William and Prince Harry, as they walked behind the Queen’s casket as they rode a carriage to Wellington Arch in Hyde Park Corner in London was drawn
The Queen’s casket will be carried by The Mall with the State Gun Carriage on September 19, 2022
After the funeral, Laura wrote a simple message that read ‘My boy…’, along with a message from the Household Cavalry detailing how they had been ‘committed to honor her life and provide an escort since the Queen’s death. worthy of a global audience’.
The message continued: “We hope we have made the Royal Family proud and know that our thoughts and prayers are with them as they continue to mourn the loss of a beloved woman.”
It went on to describe the experience as “one of the greatest endeavors of our lives to date.”
A friend replied, ‘What a wonderful sweet man Jak is! What an honor and achievement for him at his young age. You and Dan are very blessed to have such a beautiful son.”
An army spokesman said: ‘It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams on September 28 in the Hyde Park Barracks. Our thoughts are with the soldier’s family and friends at this difficult time and we ask that their privacy be respected.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘An 18-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.
“The death was unexpected, it has been investigated and is not being treated as suspicious. Cops help prepare a report for the coroner.’