Veteran, 78, who tackled gunman firing at queen proud to be on Long Walk

Scots Guardsman Alec Galloway wanted to salute his monarch for the final time

Queen Elizabeth's coffin is escorted down the Long Walk as a band plays and crowds watch the solemn spectacle. Reuters
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A veteran soldier who once tackled a gunman who shot at the queen watched her for the final time as he witnessed the procession on the Long Walk as she is taken to her resting place.

Scots Guardsman Alec Galloway stood on the Long Walk — the famous 5-kilometre (3 miles) tree-lined stretch of road leading through Windsor Great Park to Windsor Castle.

The former soldier has spent his career guarding Queen Elizabeth II and it was during the 1981 Trooping the Colour that he tackled a gunman who fired six shots at the monarch.

Then a 37-year-old lance corporal with the Scots Guards, he feared the queen would be killed and launched himself at the attacker, grabbing the gun and apprehending him before straightening his bearskin hat and rejoining the procession.

On Monday, the Long Walk was strewn with flowers, as was the hearse carrying the queen, as Mr Galloway, with his wife at his side, took part in the Long Walk to take his monarch home.

“It's a very sad and emotional day for me,” Mr Galloway told The National.

“I watched the funeral on television and made my way to the Long Walk to take her on her final journey. Thousands were there, many were not able to get in to take part.

“It was absolutely packed. I feel so proud to be here today.”

Mr Galloway, now 78, has continued to guard the monarch throughout his career and in later years was a Greencoat protecting her at Royal Ascot.

Once the monarch realised he was the one who tackled the gunman that day, she approached him and thanked him.

Alec Galloway, centre, with Queen Elizabeth. Photo: Family handout

From that moment on, the queen would give him a “cheeky wink” in acknowledgement of his valour.

With millions of others around the world, Mr Galloway had watched the progress of the monarch's imperial state crown on top of her coffin draped in the Royal Standard on the journey to the lying in state at Westminster Hall.

But on Monday, he wanted to be near to his queen.

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II travels down the Long Walk on Monday.  AP

The Long Walk will lead the monarch to St George’s Chapel in Windsor where a private service will take place before she is buried alongside Prince Philip.

She embarked on her final journey to Windsor following a state funeral service in Westminster Abbey.

The queen’s coffin was transported from the abbey in a procession which took her along Horse Guards Parade and The Mall, past Buckingham Palace and on to Wellington Arch.

Updated: September 19, 2022, 3:25 PM