Update 9/16/22 at 11:30 a.m. ET:
The queen’s cousin Lady Gabriella Windsor appeared to faint at Westminster Hall while paying her respects to Her Majesty’s coffin on Wednesday, September 14. Footage showed the royal, 41, collapsing as her husband, Thomas Kingston, tried to help her. Gabriella is related to the late monarch through her father, Prince Michael of Kent, who was Elizabeth’s first cousin. She and the royal guard’s fainting spells occurred separately.
Original story continues below:
Queen Elizabeth II’s death shook the world — and her own security is not immune. A royal guard fainted while protecting the late monarch’s coffin as it lies in state at Westminster Hall on Wednesday, September 14.
The unexpected incident occurred during a livestream of the somber event, stunning not only the crowd in attendance, but viewers across the world as well.
As security stood all around the ornately decorated casket, one guard was seen swaying back and forth slightly while trying to keep ahold of his ceremonial staff. As his knees buckled and he collapsed to the ground, several officials rushed to his aid and the broadcast cut out.
According to the Huffington Post UK, soldiers guard the queen’s coffin 24 hours per day while she is lying in state. The outlet noted that guards are required to stand in all four corners of the “catafalque,” which is the red-carpeted platform on which Her Majesty’s coffin lies. Guards can be standing still for up to six hours per day.
Elizabeth’s casket bears multiple pieces of royal regalia, including the bejeweled Sovereign’s Orb and the Sovereign’s Sceptre With Cross. Both decorated icons were used not just at the queen’s 1953 coronation, but in every British monarch’s coronation since 1661. The state crown, worn by the late sovereign on her coronation day, rests on top of the casket.
The queen’s coffin arrived at London’s Westminster Hall on Wednesday, with multiple members of her family — including King Charles III, Prince William and Prince Harry — following close behind in the solemn procession. Her casket will remain at 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 per day until Monday morning.
Elizabeth’s final resting place will be at St. George’s Chapel inside Windsor Castle, where her coffin will be placed beside the casket of her late husband, Prince Philip, who died in April 2021 at age 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 the U.K, its Commonwealth and territories for a historic 70 years before her death on September 8. Elizabeth, who was 96 at the time of her passing, “died peacefully at [her] Balmoral [estate in Scotland] this afternoon,” Buckingham Palace shared in a statement at the time.