The Number Of Military Deployed For The Queen's Funeral Is A Lot Higher Than You Realize

Ever since the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, 2022, the role of the British military in the machinations of the monarchy — as well as in the lives of regular Britons — has come into focus. Just about everything that has happened since her death has involved the military in some way: soldiers in their finery carrying her coffin, for example, or members of the Royal Navy pulling her hearse on the day of her funeral.

Meanwhile, there has been an increased military presence around London not directly related to the queen, her funeral, or to the monarchy broadly. Simply put, hundreds of thousands of people were expected to, in one way or another, pay their respects to the queen — and that kind of crowd management is nothing to sneeze at, especially in a city where people have jobs to work and lives to live. And of course, members of the royal family, including the new king himself, have been near or even mixing with the crowds. And not everyone in those crowds has honorable intentions.

Tradition, crowd control, and other matters large and small have resulted in a military presence in London that is not usually seen in the city on a regular day. But just how many members of the British military were deployed to the queen's funeral?

Almost 6,000 Deployments

According to WJTV, 5,949 members of various branches of the British military were deployed to participate in the "meticulously choreographed" funeral of the late queen. By comparison, the total size of the British armed forces is around 158,000 (via the UK Parliament). That means that approximately 3.8% of the country's military was deployed in and around one city. Making even further comparisons, the size of the U.S. military is about 1.388 million (per Macro Trends); if 3.8% of the U.S. armed forces were deployed to one city, there would be approximately 52,744 troops on the ground.

Breaking those numbers down even further: 4,416 soldiers were deployed from the British Army, 847 from the Royal Navy (142 of whom pulled the queen's gun carriage), and 686 from the Royal Air Force. Further still, around 175 armed forces personnel from Commonwealth nations have been sent to London to help out in one way or another.