Friday 15 November 2019

Body of hero police officer Keith Palmer will rest in Palace of Westminster ahead of funeral

PC Keith Palmer who was killed during the terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament
PC Keith Palmer who was killed during the terrorist attack on the Houses of Parliament
A police officer lays flowers on Whitehall around a photograph of police officer Keith Palmer who was killed in the March 22 terror attack in Westminster, in Westminster near the Houses of the Parliament in central London

Martin Evans

The body of the police officer murdered in the Westminster terror attack will rest in the Palace of Westminster ahead of a full police funeral on Monday.

Pc Keith Palmer (48) was guarding the Houses of Parliament last month when terrorist Khalid Masood stabbed him to death.

Moments earlier Masood, a Muslim convert, had caused carnage on Westminster Bridge by driving his car at high speed into the crowds.

Pc Palmer's coffin will be taken to the Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in the Palace of Westminster where it will remain for 24 hours before his funeral.

The rare honour is usually reserved for leading parliamentarians and requires the consent of the Queen.

Baroness Thatcher, the former Prime Minister and Tony Benn, the Labour politician, were the two most recent recipients of the honour.

PC Palmer's coffin will be transported from Westminster to Southwark Cathedral on Monday where a full police funeral will take place.

Thousands of police colleagues from across the country and members of the public are expected to line the route in order to pay their respects.

The married officer, who had a five-year-old daughter, had served in the Metropolitan Police for 15-years.

Masood's rampage killed four people on Westminster Bridge when he drove a car at high speed along the pavement.

He then jumped from the car and ran into the Palace of Westminster grounds where he stabbed Pc Palmer.

Aysha Frade (440 who worked at a London sixth-form college, US tourist Kurt Cochran (54) from Utah, and retired window cleaner Leslie Rhodes(75) from south London also died in the attack.

Romanian Andreea Cristea (31) who fell into the River Thames and had been in hospital since the attack, died on Thursday.

Relatives of those killed joined members of the Royal Family at a "service of hope" at Westminster Abbey last week.

There are plans for a permanent memorial to honour Pc Palmer's memory at the National Memorial Arboretum.

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