What You Need To Know About 'Tall Paul,' The Queen's Trusted Footman

The world is still reeling from the heartbreaking death of Queen Elizabeth II earlier this month. Her final days were spent with a person most people have never heard of: Paul Whybrew, Page of the Backstairs and one of the queen's most devoted aides. He began working for Britain's longest-reigning monarch at the age of 19 as a junior footman, staying by her side until the very end, 44 years later (per Daily Mail). In 2021, Whybrew became the queen's longest-serving staff member.

At 6'4" — a full 12 inches taller than the queen — Whybrew easily earned the nickname "Tall Paul." The moniker served to differentiate him from "Small Paul," former royal footman Paul Burrell.

Former butler Grant Harrold singled out "Tall Paul" and the queen's dressmaker, Angela Kelly, as the two most powerful individuals of the queen's staff. "You'd assume the private secretary is her right-hand man, but no — that's a professional relationship," Harrold told Insider. "The private staff get to know her really well, on a more personal level, spending time in her living quarters."

The loyal servant stayed with the queen for more than four decades

Paul Whybrew remained staunchly by Queen Elizabeth II's side during some of the most dramatic moments of her reign.

When drunken intruder Michael Fagan managed to climb the walls of Buckingham Palace and enter the queen's chambers in 1982, it was Whybrew who got the situation under control. "The man seemed very tense and I said: 'Would you like a drink?' Immediately he became more affable and replied: 'Yes please, I'll have a scotch,'" the aide said in a statement at Fagan's trial (per The Guardian).

With great gravitas, Whybrew appeared alongside Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig (and the corgis) in the hilarious James Bond sketch that opened the London 2012 Summer Olympics. He towered above both the queen and the award-winning actor, who is 5'10" in height (via Celeb Heights).

Whybrew also helped the queen recover after a health scare in October 2021. Daily Mail reported that he kept her company during her convalescence, watching TV and helping with jigsaw puzzles.

Paul Whybrew was part of the queen's funeral procession

Paul Whybrew was with Queen Elizabeth II until the very end, quite literally. According to Daily Mail, on September 14 he walked with her coffin as part of the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where the queen spent four days lying in state.

Then today, the man sometimes referred to as the "keeper of the queen's secrets" was one of just three male domestic staff chosen to walk in front of the hearse carrying the queen's coffin (per Daily Mail). The queen's most loyal servant appeared solemn and determined throughout the day's ceremonies.

"He knew that he could have walked into any job in the private sector and earn far more than he does, but it never crossed his mind," one of Whybrew's friends told the newspaper. "He felt his place was at the Queen's side as long as she wanted him and the fact is she always wanted him."