Brian Sulley, the bearksin-wearing guardsman who appeared in Charles and Diana’s wedding day photographs, has died aged 75.
He could be seen through the glass as Diana and her father Earl Spencer rode in a coach to St Paul’s Cathedral, London, on July 29, 1981.
A year later, Dundee-born Brian who went on to train officer cadets in Aberdeen, was to see action as Britain went to war to retake the Falkland Islands.
He died on June 13, the anniversary of the day his regiment, the Scots Guards, drove Argentine forces from Tumbledown Mountain on the islands.
At his funeral at Dundee crematorium, the Scots Guards Association formed a guard of honour.
His coffin was piped in by Iain Bryson, secretary of the association’s Dundee branch.
Mr Bryson said: “If it was not for Covid, the crematorium would have been awash with Scots Guardsmen paying their respects. That’s how highly Brian was thought of.
“The photograph from the royal wedding was one to remember. You see Brian and Diana on opposite sides of the same frame.”
Brian Sulley joined the Scots Guards in 1967 and in his 22-year career, he rose to become regimental sergeant major.
He served around the world including in Belize, Northern Ireland, the Persian Gulf as well as the South Atlantic.
Towards the end of his career he was an instructor with Aberdeen University Officer Training Corps.
Mr Bryson said: “He was an unassuming man and if you saw him, you would never have thought that he had the career he did. He was very well thought of and everybody has been stunned to hear of his death.”
Brian Sulley was born in Lochee in 1946 to Harry and Annabella Sulley. His father worked in the jute industry and had served in the artillery in Orkney during the second world war.
He was educated at Liff Road primary school and Logie secondary.
Brian’s first job was as a telephone engineer in Dundee and, when he was 21, he enlisted in the Scots Guards.
After training he was posted with the Ist Battalion Scots Guards to Sharjah in the Middle East.
He also served at Windsor and was with the 2nd Battalion in Belize, Cyprus, Germany, Canada, Rhodesia and Northern Ireland.
In 1982 Brian was part of the British Task Force which set sail to liberate the Falkland Islands after the Argentine invasion. Brian was on board the QE2.
His nephew, Mark Sulley, was serving in the Royal Engineers during the conflict.
Brian was a helicopter marshal during the conflict, guiding aircraft to pick up casualties.
Mr Bryson said: “Brian rose through the ranks from his early days and when he left the army in 1990, he held the rank of regimental sergeant major with the UOTC at Aberdeen University.
“Sadly Brian died on June 13 this year, which is a synonymous date in Scots Guards history, this was the date that 39 years ago the Scots Guards attacked Mount Tumbledown, which was a pivotal point in the Argentine surrender the next day.
“Brian was also the Dundee and Angus branch treasurer, a position that he held for the last 15 years. He was hugely respected by all who knew him.”
Brian later had a spell as a driver at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, before fully retiring.
One of his great passions was sea fishing and he would regularly fish from boats off Dundee.
The family’s announcement can be read here.