The Daily Telegraph

Pallbearer Fijian soldier makes his homeland proud


A soldier from Fiji who serves in the Royal Regiment of Scotland “has done his family proud” after he was among those selected as a pallbearer for Elizabeth II.

Images of Peni Vuiyale Tubuna, from Balaklava Company, who was just 21 years old when he was chosen, were sent around the world after the young Fijian was seen carrying the royal coffin into Edinburgh’s Holyroodho­use Palace on Sunday. Yesterday, he repeated his duties as the coffin travelled down the Royal Mile and into St Giles’ Cathedral.

The soldier, who grew up in the village of Vutia, enlisted in the British Army the day after his 18th birthday, his family said.

His aunt and uncle, who live in Edinburgh, said they did not know of his role until they saw him on BBC News. Semi Tubuna, his father, told a local Fijian news outlet: “I am touched that he is not only doing his family proud but his country.”

A Fijian MP, Ro Teimumu Vuikaba Kepa, said “the young Fijian lad may not have been fully aware of how Fiji cherished the late monarch” but seeing him “gave closure to many Fijians watching”. Max Stephens

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