Royal Guard Faints While Protecting Queen Elizabeth's Coffin

A royal guard protecting Queen Elizabeth II's coffin fainted on Wednesday while the late monarch lies in state at Westminster Hall. The surprising incident occurred during a live stream of the event.

As security stood around the ornate casket, which has made its way around the country since her passing last week, one guard could be seen swaying back and forth slightly while trying to keep ahold of his ceremonial staff. His knees buckled and he collapsed to the ground, with several officials rushing to his aid as the broadcast cut out.

Soldiers guard the queen's casket 24 hours per day while she is lying in state, Huffington Post UK reports, with guards required to stand in all four corners of the "catafalque," which is the red-carpeted platform on which the casket stands. A guard can be standing still for up to six hours per day.

In a similar but unrelated incident, Queen Elizabeth's cousin, Lady Gabriella Windsor, also appeared to faint at Westminster Hall on Wednesday. Footage showed the 41-year-old royal collapsing as her husband, Thomas Kingston, tried to help her. Gabriella is related to the late Queen through her father, Prince Michael of Kent, who was Elizabeth's first cousin. 

Queen Elizabeth's casket arrived at London's Westminster Hall on Wednesday, with multiple members of the Royal Family – including King Charles III, Prince William and Prince Harry – following in a solemn procession behind it. It will remain there until the morning of her funeral, which will take place on Monday. The public can pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth 24 hours a day until Monday morning.

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Her final resting place will be St. George's Chapel inside Windsor Castle, where the coffin will be placed beside that of her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at age 99. The coffins of Queen Elizabeth's parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, as well as the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret, are also at St. George's Chapel.

The queen ruled all of the United Kingdom, its Commonwealth and territories for a record 70 years before her death on September 8. She "died peacefully at [her] Balmoral [estate in Scotland]," Buckingham Palace said in a statement at the time.