The funeral of John Brooke-Little, the former Clarenceux King of Arms who founded the Heraldry Society and officiated at the Queen's Coronation, took place on February 23.

Mr Brooke-Little founded the Heraldry Society when barely out of his teens and it continues to flourish 60 years on.

A graduate of New College Oxford, he once thought of going on the stage, but while in Oxford joined the Earl Marshal's staff in the run-up to the 1953 Coronation, acting as general factotum to Sir George Bellew, Garter King of Arms.

As well as helping to select the heraldic animals chosen to represent 'The Queen Beasts' -- the statues placed outside Westminster Abbey for the ceremony, Mr Brooke-Little placed the two stools on which the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh knelt to take communion. He later claimed that after carrying the stools back behind the altar screen, he and a colleague celebrated with a swig from a bottle of brandy, hidden between the legs of the effigy on Richard II's tomb.

In 1960, he married Mary Pierce and later purchased Heyford House, near Bicester, which remains the family home. The couple had three sons and a daughter.

Mr Brooke-Little died, aged 78, on February 13, in Banbury.