Queen's guard shown resting between shifts in behind-the-scenes images of Queen's Lying in State
Behind-the-scenes images of royal guards resting between Lying in State shifts have been shared by the Ministry of Defence on the day of Queen's funeral.
Beefeaters, or Yeoman Warders, guarded the Queen's coffin as hundreds of thousands of mourners visited Westminster Hall to pay their tributes to the nation's longest-reigning monarch.
Alongside the Gentlemen at Arms and the Royal Company of Archers, the Yeomen of the Guard stood vigil by the sovereign's coffin as she lay in state.
Ahead of the funeral, the Ministry of Defence shared a behind-the-scenes look at the operation at Westminster Hall, with one image showing a group of Yeomen resting on couches.
Another image shared by the ministry shows one of the Queen's guards napping as his colleagues help each other prepare for their rotation in the historic hall.
The images, shared to Twitter, were posted along with the message: "The UK Armed Forces are continuing to honour their Commander-in-Chief of 70 years, Her Majesty The Queen, as they stand vigil alongside The King's Body Guard."
The continuous 24-hour vigil was broken into four six-hour shifts, with guards switching places every 20 minutes. Westminster Hall opened to the public at 5pm on Wednesday and mourners lined pathways around the Thames for days for their chance to say goodbye to Her Majesty.
Members of the public, celebrities and foreign dignitaries were all seen queuing – including David Beckham, who spent more than 12 hours waiting. Access to the official queue had ended on Sunday night, in order to meet the 6.30am closure of the lying in state period. Crowds remained even after the doors closed, and were greeted by a rainbow over Westminster Abbey. The rainbow was a moving sight, as a rainbow also appeared above Windsor Castle as the monarch’s death was announced.
Following a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, the Queen will be laid to rest at St George's Chapel in Windsor.
The remarkable life of the Queen remembered in our latest episode of What You Need To Know.