The death of Queen Elizabeth II shocked the world, and her own safety is not guaranteed. The King’s Guard fell unconscious while protecting the late monarch’s coffin, which is located in Westminster Hall on Wednesday, September 14.
An unexpected incident occurred during the live broadcast of the macabre event, stunning not only those present, but also viewers around the world.
As guards stood around the ornate coffin, one guard swayed back and forth slightly, trying to hold on to his ceremonial staff. As his knees gave out and he collapsed to the ground, several officials rushed to his aid and the broadcast cut off.
According to Huffington Post UK, soldiers guard the Queen’s coffin 24 hours a day while she lies in state. The publication noted that the protection is required to stand in all four corners of the “hearse”, which is a platform with a red carpet, on which lies the coffin of Her Majesty. Guards can stand still for up to six hours a day.
Elizabeth’s casket contains several pieces of royal regalia, including the Orb of the Sovereign adorned with jewels and the Sovereign’s Scepter with a cross. Both decorated icons have been used not only at the coronation of the Queen in 1953, but at the coronation of every British monarch since 1661. The state crown, which the late empress wore on the day of her coronation, rests on the coffin.
The Queen’s coffin arrived at London’s Westminster Hall on Wednesday with several members of her family, including King Charles III, Prince William as well as Prince Harry follow him in solemn procession. Her coffin will remain in the 900-year-old building until the morning of her funeral, which will take place on Monday, September 19. The public is allowed to pay their respects to the late monarch 24 hours a day until Monday morning.
Elizabeth’s final resting place will be at St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where her coffin will be placed next to that of her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at the age of 99. The chapel also houses the coffins of her late parents, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, as well as the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.
The Queen ruled all of Great Britain, its Commonwealth and territories for a historic 70 years until her death on 8 September. Elizabeth, who was 96 years old at the time of her death, “died peacefully in [her] Balmoral [estate in Scotland] this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement.