Thursday 29 September 2022 11:14 AM Soldier in charge of Queen's funeral procession will run London Marathon this ... trends now

Thursday 29 September 2022 11:14 AM Soldier in charge of Queen's funeral procession will run London Marathon this ... trends now
Thursday 29 September 2022 11:14 AM Soldier in charge of Queen's funeral procession will run London Marathon this ... trends now

Thursday 29 September 2022 11:14 AM Soldier in charge of Queen's funeral procession will run London Marathon this ... trends now

The solider who was in charge of all the military and ceremonial aspects of the Queen's state funeral is swapping his redcoat for running attire as he prepares to run the London Marathon this weekend.

Garrison Sergeant Major (GSM) Andrew 'Vern' Stokes, of the Coldstream Guards, had the world's eyes on him last Monday as he solemnly walked down The Mall for a final inspection ahead of the 4,000-strong military parade.

He wanted to walk the route one last time to ensure everything was in place, from the flags to the barriers, as well as ensuring medics and police officers were at their posts.

General Sergeant Major Andrew 'Vern' Stokes pictured leading the Royal family as they walked behind the Queen's coffin as it was carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall

General Sergeant Major Andrew 'Vern' Stokes pictured leading the Royal family as they walked behind the Queen's coffin as it was carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall

GSM Stokes pictured with Her Majesty during a military parade held to mark the Queen's official birthday on June 12 last year

GSM Stokes pictured with Her Majesty during a military parade held to mark the Queen's official birthday on June 12 last year

GSM Stokes was in charge of organising the military and ceremonial events in both London and Windsor - where a further 1,000 army personnel took part - for Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral on Monday, September 19. 

Just days earlier, he led members of the Royal family as they walked behind the Queen's coffin, carried on a Gun Carriage of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, as it travelled from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall.

This Sunday, he is set to return to the The Mall on the last lap of the 26.2-mile marathon course that winds through the streets of the capital, starting in Greenwich before taking runners out to Woolwich and back into central London.

Speaking ahead of the marathon, GSM Stokes, who is raising money for charity, spoke of his 'intense pride' for his part in organising the Queen's funeral which he said has helped 'ignite renewed patriotism' across Britain.

He said: 'What is clear is that Her Majesty’s funeral and the ceremonial surrounding it galvanised the nation.'

GSM Stokes, from Shropshire, said that since the Queen's funeral he has received thousands of messages from people to express their gratitude.

'Those comments make me feel that the Armed Forces delivered above and beyond expectation, something they are very used to

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