Left to right: Shermara Fletcher, Baroness Patricia Scotland and Liz Truss (Photo: BBC)
Queen Elizabeth II was ultimately put to rest on September 19, following a ceremony that was meticulously planned. At 11 a.m. on Monday, nearly 4 billion people turned in to see the Queen’s burial, while leaders from across the globe travelled to London to pay their respects to Her Majesty, who departed on September 8 at the age of 96.
Some viewers who tuned in saw that the predominance of military troops, choir members, and religious speakers were men and boys. Her six-year-old remarked that it was “Mostly all men.”
Surprisingly, we are not alone who made these observations:
Here are some of the history-making women that participated in the Queen’s send-off, from the first female naval officers to draw the State Gun Carriage bearing the Queen’s coffin to the female clergy who offered prayers.
El-Leigh Neal, Naval Officer
One of the first female naval officers to pull the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy at Queen Elizabeth’s funeral has spoken about the honour of pulling the carriage, saying she was chosen because of her strength.
Warrant Officer Class 2 El-Leigh Neal told The Telegraph she’d practised pulling the carriage around HMS Collingwood in preparation for the day, so they could give the Queen the send-off she deserved.
“I think everyone in the military, she was our boss, so everyone does feel that special connection with her,” she told the publication.
Those carrying Queen Elizabeth’s coffin during the services at Westminster and Windsor were all male soldiers from the Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, so it was a huge moment to have female military personnel involved in the pulling of the State Gun Carriage.
The Queen was something of a military record-breaker herself, being the first female member of the Royal family to serve in the armed forces, according to the BBC.
Shermara Fletcher, Principle Officer for Pentecostal Relations
Fletcher, who is the principal officer for pentecostal and charismatic relations at ChurchesTogether in England, shared a heartfelt word of prayer at the funeral service for those “whose hearts are heavy with grief and sorrow”. She later tweeted to say it was a “historic moment” and “honour” to represent ChurchesTogether in England at the Queen’s funeral.
After the service, Reverend Richard Coles tweeted Fletcher to applaud her for the part she played in such a momentous occasion. “It was beautifully done Shermara, thank you,” he said. Many of her followers tweeted to share their pride, too. “Beautifully spoken,” said one, while another added: “You did well. History-making, I suspect.”
Baroness Patricia Scotland, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth
Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Patricia Scotland. (Photo: SIMON MAINA via Getty Images) Baroness Scotland, secretary-general of the Commonwealth, played a vital role in the funeral, reading The First Lesson to the congregation.
The baroness grew up in Walthamstow, London, after her family moved to the UK from Dominica when she was two, according to My London. At 35, she became the youngest woman to be made a member of the Queen’s Counsel and was the first Black woman appointed as a QC in 1991.
Liz Truss, Prime Minister
Sarah Clarke – who was appointed Lady Usher of the Black Rod in 2018, and in doing so made history as the first female Black Rod – was the first and last person to see the Queen lying in state, with clips showing her wiping back tears as she said goodbye to Her Majesty.
The Black Rod is a senior officer in the House of Lords, responsible for controlling access to and maintaining order within the House and its precincts. Clarke, who helped organize the lying-in-state service and maintained the procession each day, was also seen in the funeral procession on Monday.
Credits: Natasha Hinde – Yahoo! life