Queen's tribute to murdered soldier

South Wales Guardian: The Queen meets members of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery during her visit to Royal Artillery Barracks in London The Queen meets members of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery during her visit to Royal Artillery Barracks in London

The Queen has paid her respects to Drummer Lee Rigby by meeting officers and soldiers associated with the serviceman killed in Woolwich.

She met, in private, military personnel from Woolwich Station where Drummer Rigby lived and others he worked with in his regiment's outreach team.

The soldier was hacked to death in a knife attack yards from the famous military base on Wednesday last week.

An hour before the Queen arrived in Woolwich to visit the new home of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery - a mounted, ceremonial unit - Buckingham Palace announced she would mark the death of the soldier by holding the meetings before having lunch in the Sergeant's Mess.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said the Queen met "those who co-ordinated the barracks response to the events of last week and some of those who formed part of Drummer Rigby's chain of command". She stressed that the royal engagement was a long-standing commitment and that "the Queen was privately acknowledging the events of last week".

The Queen's journey to the barracks in south-east London did not take her past the hundreds of floral tributes left at the railings.

Lieutenant Colonel Bob Christopher, commander of Woolwich Station, and his team met the Queen, as did staff from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers' outreach team, Drummer Rigby's regiment, based at the Tower of London. It is not known how long the Queen chatted to the service personnel, who were not available for a comment afterwards.

During the Queen's visit one toddler did his best to upstage the monarch by rolling around on the floor crying when his mother was introduced to the head of state. Ethan Pagan-Skelley, 18 months old, dressed in a tiny suit complete with shirt and tie, threw a tantrum soon after the Queen arrived at George VI Lines, home of the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

His father Sergeant Peter Pagan-Skelley serves with the prestigious regiment and was in another part of the base but the infant's mother Emma carried on chatting to the Queen as her son played up.

After meeting the monarch in the gun store, where the regiments First World War guns are kept, the mother said: "The Queen said 'he's a troublesome one' but it was lovely to meet her." The toddler's grandmother Annette Skelley added: "He was quiet all morning but when the Queen arrived he started crying, maybe it was the occasion that got to him."

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