Jeremy Heywood – Cabinet Secretary until only few weeks ago; great champion of behavioural science, What Works, and innovation in government much more widely – was laid to rest on Friday. It was an incredibly moving and beautiful ceremony in the Henry VII chapel in Westminster Abbey. The Prime Minister was of course there – and the two previous Prime Ministers – alongside family and those who had worked with him and for him through so many decades.
The Chapel is dedicated to the knights of the realm, who have served the nation. Their banners hung dramatically over the mourners, framed by the honeycomb of carved stone above, and the dark wood and armour on either side. As Jeremy laid between us, he seemed a modern day knight – honoured, respected, celebrated.
The Heywood family asked for people not to send flowers, but have set up a Foundation in his name. It will promote something that Jeremy cared deeply about, and championed his whole career: diversity and innovation in the public service.