A Royal Guard faints while watching Queen Elizabeth’s coffin

By Biodun Busari

One of the British royal guards watching over Queen Elizabeth’s coffin on the first night of her lying in state at Westminster Hall collapsed in the early hours of Thursday.

Reports say he was standing at the foot of the late British longest-serving monarch’s casket when he fell to the floor, appearing to have fainted.

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Footage taken from a live broadcast which was posted to social media at around 1:00 am captured the collapse.

While he was being tended to, the live vision, however, quickly faded to the exterior night-time vision of the building.

Metro reports that over an hour later, the broadcast had still not returned to the scene inside the hall.

The guard, dressed in black, was holding a ceremonial staff when he fell to the floor, but the officials who were nearby swiftly rushed to help him.

The Queen will lie in state in Westminster Hall for four full days before her funeral on Monday, September 19.

Guards on 24-hour vigil

Soldiers in ceremonial uniform are to maintain a constant, 24-hour vigil around the Queen’s coffin while she is lying in state.

While the soldiers rotate every 20 minutes, the hours of remaining completely still while standing are six hours in length.

The guards from units which include the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London are required to remain completely still at the four corners of the catafalque.

It comes after a procession of the Queen’s coffin through central London yesterday afternoon, transferring her casket from Buckingham Palace.

Charles and his siblings

King Charles had walked behind his mother’s coffin with his siblings and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry.

They arrived at around 3:00 pm at Westminster Hall, where the Queen will lie in state until the morning of her funeral.

Members of the public will be able to file past to pay their respects to the late monarch, after joining a queue extending for miles.

Fall not the first occurrence

While there has not been any official statement from the royal family or the British government, it is noted that the incident was not the first time a guard has collapsed while standing for long periods.

Two guards fainted while waiting for dignitaries to arrive at the Platinum Jubilee ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in June.

Guardsmen have also fainted in strong heat during Trooping the Colour.

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