Royal guard collapses and falls off the Queen’s coffin podium on first night of Lying in State

The soldier collapsed at around 1am while he was guarding the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, inside Westminster Hall

A royal guard dramatically collapsed in front of crowds of mourners while he was watching over the Queen’s coffin at Westminster Hall overnight.

The guard was standing at the foot of the late monarch’s casket, holding a ceremonial staff, when he suddenly swayed and fell forwards to the floor at around 1am.

Officials rushed to his aid and live footage of the broadcast was interrupted while the guard was checked.

A stretcher was quickly brought out, but the unknown soldier managed to stand up by himself.

After being handed back his hat and ceremonial staff that had dropped to the floor during his fall, he swiftly returned to his post.

However, moments later he dramatically swayed again and was escorted away by three staff.

The incident happened on the first night of the Queen’s Lying in State which gives members of the public the chance to pay their respects to the late monarch.

Soldiers in ceremonial uniform are maintaining a constant, 24-hour vigil around the Queen’s coffin while she is lying in state.

The guards are required to remain completely still at the four corners of the catafalque.

While the soldiers rotate every 20 minutes, the hours of remaining completely still while standing are six-hours in length.

It's not uncommon for members of the military to collapse on duty. Five soldiers fainted at the National Thanksgiving Service during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Thousands of mourners continued to join the miles-long queue on Thursday morning to pay their respects to the Queen as she lies in state at Westminster Hall.

By 8am on Thursday, the queue was around 2.6 miles long and stretched to Borough Market.

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