A member of the royal guard surrounding the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II collapsed on Wednesday, in front of hundreds of mourners at the Palace of Westminster.
As The Telegraph reports, Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin arrived at Westminster Hall from Buckingham Palace on Wednesday. He was placed on the raised platform, the catafalque, under the supervision of the Royal Guard, 24 hours a day.
Guards are required to stand completely still at all four corners of the catafalque. Although the soldiers rotate every 20 minutes, they must remain motionless in a standing position for six hours straight.
The visits continue, with a line stretching for several kilometres, and it was during her time on duty that a member, in uniform in front of the queen’s coffin, collapsed from the podium. The live video was cut but the images of this incident are running on the networks. The guard can be seen falling face first and collapsing before two police officers rush to rescue him.
The royal guard was quickly replaced, this kind of incident happening regularly during big events, the members of the guard are ready to take over. Guards have a long and demanding training because standing perfectly still for long periods of time can put great strain on both body and mind. One can suffer from exhaustion, muscle tension, lower back pain and swelling of the feet.
They are taught to fall (because fainting is regular): they must avoid tipping over on their side or clinging to a piece of furniture, object or monument to support themselves. According to The Express, these soldiers can flip face forward while holding their bayonet rifles.