A Buckingham Palace footman died just three minutes after he received his long service and Royal Victoria medals for service in the Royal Household.
The Sunday Express reports that David Grimson, a 48-year-old footman who has worked at Buckingham Palace for 20 years, was diagnosed with inoperable cancer, and feared he would not live long enough to receive his medals.
The Queen heard that Mr. Grimson, who has been described as ‘as permanent a fixture as the marble pillars at Buckingham Palace’, was in hospital with pneumonia on his deathbed, and ordered that his medals be issued with ‘immediate effect’, so that he may receive them before he died.
A Palace source said to The Express: “In his eulogy, the Master [of the Household, Vice Admiral Tony Johnstone-Burt] revealed how he had planned to deliver the medals personally to David the next day.
“But because David seemed so frail, his doctor decided to tell him so he knew how keen Her Majesty was to present him with the medals.”
“Opening his eyes and smiling broadly, David put his arm up and gave a huge thumbs-up. He then passed away three minutes later.” The congregation gasped following this revelation.
“It was almost as if, having been given his award, Her Majesty had given him permission to step down from his post, his duty after 20 years having been done to the very, very best of his ability.”
Mr Johnstone-Burt said the footman should be celebrated for his ‘duty, kindness, diligence, service and excellence’. Mr. Grimson’s mother and brother, who live in Merseyside, received David’s long service and Royal Victoria medals posthumously; the RVM was established by Queen Victoria, and rewards service to the Royal Family.
Her Majesty employs over 400 members of staff at Buckingham Palace and many serve for decades for the prestige of the position.
One member of staff said The Express: “Everyone calls her The Boss and we all have the upmost respect for her. She is a very caring and warm person, and takes an interest in all her staff.”