What to Know About Paul Whybrew (aka 'Tall Paul'), Queen Elizabeth's Close Footman of More than 40 Years

During the funeral services held Monday, Paul Whybrew was among those who walked in front of the Royal State Hearse that carried Queen Elizabeth's coffin as it arrived at Windsor Castle

Paul Whybrew, Queen Elizabeth's longtime Page of the Backstairs, had a prominent role beside her coffin during the processions for the late monarch's state funeral.

Nicknamed "Tall Paul" because of his 6-foot-4-inch stature, Whybrew worked for the Queen for more than 40 years as her loyal righthand man. At the services held on Monday, Whybrew was among those who walked in front of the Royal State Hearse that carried Queen Elizabeth's coffin as it arrived at Windsor Castle.

Former royal butler Grant Harrold previously told Insider that Whybrew and Angela Kelly, the Queen's dresser and close confidant, were "the most powerful" of the monarch's trusted staff.

"You'd assume the private secretary is her righthand man, but no — that's a professional relationship. The private staff get to know her really well on a more personal level, spending time in her living quarters," explained Harrold.

The Queen's pages, Paul Whybrew and Barry Mitford with Vice Admiral (Retd) Tony Johnstone-Burt at Westminster Hall for the lying in State of The Late HM Queen Elizabeth II Queen Elizabeth II's coffin procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, London, UK - 14 Sep 2022

Whybrew was involved in one of the most high-profile security breaches in royal history, when 31-year-old Michael Fagan managed to scale palace walls and make his way into Queen Elizabeth's chambers while she slept the morning of July 9, 1982. The infamous break-in was depicted in season 4 of Netflix's The Crown.

During the 1982 court trial, Queen's footman Whybrew said Fagan insisted on speaking with Her Majesty, according to a report by The Guardian at the time. "The man seemed very tense, and I said: 'Would you like a drink?'" Whybrew recalled. "Immediately, he became more affable and replied: 'Yes please, I'll have a scotch.'" Fagan was reportedly met by authorities shortly after.

Queen Elizabeth II's personal Page, in his role as Serjeant at Arms travels in a horse drawn carriage along with the Ceremonial Maces from Buckingham Palace to attend the State Opening of Parliament on May 8, 2013 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the coalition government's legislative programme in a speech delivered to Members of Parliament and Peers in The House of Lords.
Paul Whybrew on May 8, 2013. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty

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Whybrew also appeared alongside the Queen and actor Daniel Craig in her James Bond sketch that aired during the opening ceremony for the Olympics in London back in 2012.

Back in 2019, Kelly shared how the iconic 007 skit came to be in her book The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe. Kelly was one of the first people to hear the pitch during a 2011 meeting with director Danny Boyle and private secretary Edward Young — and even presented the idea to the Queen directly.

Paul Whybrew (Queen Elizabeth II's page) leaves the Goring Hotel after attending a Christmas Lunch hosted by Queen Elizabeth II for her close members of staff on December 03, 2012 in London, England

"Having listened to Danny's plan, I asked him and Edward to give me five minutes so that I could ask the Queen," Kelly wrote. "I remember the look of shock on Danny's face that I would be asking Her Majesty straight away, but there's no point in waiting around with these things: if she said no, that would be the end of it."

Although the Queen "was very amused by the idea and agreed immediately," she wanted her participation to be more than just an appearance.

"I asked then if she would like a speaking part," Kelly recalled. "Without hesitation, Her Majesty replied: 'Of course I must say something. After all, he is coming to rescue me.'"

Buckingham Palace was the Queen's main residence since her crowning in 1953. However, in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, she temporarily moved to Windsor Castle and did not return to the Palace before her death.

During Monday's coffin procession to Hyde Park at the Queen's funeral, more than 100 Buckingham Palace employees lined up outside the royal residence as the monarch passed by for the very last time.

On Sept. 8, Buckingham Palace announced that the monarch died peacefully at age 96 at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Following the announcement, a close source told PEOPLE that her loyal personal staff were "devastated" by the news.

"They are incandescent with grief," the insider said. "However much you are prepared for it, after a lifetime of service, it was still a terrible shock."

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