The grieving mum of a teen soldier who died after walking behind the Queen’s coffin has paid a heartbreaking tribute.
Jack Burnell-Williams had a key role in the late monarch’s funeral on September 19 but less than two weeks later he was found dead in his London barracks.
Paramedics desperately tried to save the 18-year-old after being called to Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge, at 3.48pm on Wednesday.
Mum Laura, 42, from Bridgend, South Wales, shared an emotional tribute to her son – known to family and friends as Jak – alongside a picture of the young soldier.
She said in her post on Thursday: “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.”
Police are not treating the death as suspicious, describing it as “unexpected”.
A spokesperson for the Met 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. Officers will assist with preparing a report for the coroner.”
Mr Burnell-Williams’ family and friends were delighted when he was selected to accompany the Queen on her final journey.
His dad Daniel Burnell had proudly declared that his son was “doing his duty for the Queen on her final journey” in a post on the day.
He had also posted a video of troops from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, including the late soldier, taking part in the ceremony as Elizabeth II made her way to her final resting place.
Daniel’s post added: “So proud of you Jak Williams xx very proud father xx.”
Mr Burnell-Williams’ girlfriend Molly Holmes wrote on social media: “Forever going to miss you my love. Truly heartbroken.”
The young trooper’s sister Elisha added: “We will get through this together as a team. We need to do him just as proud as he’s done us.”
Meanwhile, his aunt Jodie Danks said: “Such heartbreaking news. I can’t believe you’re gone. You was taken way too soon. We all love you so much my handsome nephew.
“You made us all so proud. Rest in peace.”
Mum Laura had previously posted a series of photos of her son in ceremonial uniform on June 8 during his passing out parade for the Household Cavalry at Hyde Park barracks.
The same month she also posted TV footage of him taking part in the Trooping of the Colour as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, with the caption: “One of the proudest days of my life”.
Mr Burnell-Williams is thought to have had a part in the ceremonial events during the mourning period.
On September 14 – almost a week after the Queen’s death – his mum had also posted: “So proud of my boy accompanying his Queen on her final journey.”
To celebrate his life and mark his untimely death, his family are due to release blue balloons into the sky today.