Guard faints standing watch beside Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin

Guard faints standing watch beside Queen Elizabeth IIs coffin

A guard standing watch beside Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin fainted and fell headfirst to the floor late Wednesday as mourners paid respects to the late queen as she lies in state at Westminster Hall.

The guard, clad in a black uniform and holding a staff, first appears to stumble from his position on the raised podium — called a catafalque — where the Queen’s casket sits, the now-viral clip shows.

He steps off the platform briefly after swaying unsteadily before he gets back up and assumes his position. Moments later, he suddenly falls forwards, landing face first on the ground as the crowd audibly gasps.

His cap fell off, revealing a head of white hair, and two men rushed over to help him up.

The BBC, who was live-streaming the ceremony, cut out its feed for several minutes as police and others responded, The Daily Mail reported.

The Queen’s coffin is guarded around the clock by service members from the Sovereign’s Bodyguard, the Household Division, or Yeoman Warders of the Tower of London, according to the paper. 

The guard was holding watch over the Queen’s coffin when he appeared to black out and faint.

The guard’s collapse comes as hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets of London in queues up to 30 hours long to pay their respects to the Queen, who died last Thursday at the age of 96 after a 70-year reign.

Mourners will be asked to pass the coffin without stopping to ensure the line is moving swiftly throughout the day and night.

The Queen’s body arrived at Westminster Hall around 3 p.m. local time, followed by her son and heir, King Charles III, and her warring grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry.

A guard watching over Queen Elizabeth II's coffin as she lies in state fainted Wednesday night.
Others rushed to help the guard after he fell onto the floor Wednesday.

Other senior members of the royal family were also in attendance, including Queen Consort Camilla, Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

There will be 20 vigils through Monday morning, when the Queen’s coffin will be transported to Westminster Abbey for the funeral.

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