The Royal guards stationed near Queen Elizabeth II’s flag-draped coffin have been photographed taking a well-deserved break.
The ‘beefeaters,’ or Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, stand guard over the deceased monarch.
On Sunday, the loyal guards took a break behind the scenes of Westminster Hall, rotating every 20 minutes over a six-hour shift.
Three ceremonial units surround Her Majesty as she lies in state, with units on duty around the clock.
The Yeomen of the Guard, pictured at rest, as well as the Gentlemen at Arms and the Royal Company of Archers, stand guard over her.
‘They’re doing such a great job. Hat’s off to them,’ said one Twitter user.
‘I thank them all for their service,’ said another.
Since Tudor times, Yeoman Warders have guarded the Tower of London, with members drawn from all three branches of the military.
Originally, the group was part of Henry VIII’s personal bodyguard, traveling with the monarch for his protection.
The Yeoman Body consists of 37 men and women drawn from the Armed Forces.
Salaries for the positions begin at £30,000 per year, and the job even includes a flat — many warders are expected to live in the Tower with their families.
However, the guard must first serve 22 years in the army, and applicants must also have the Long Service and Good Conduct medal.
Guards typically work 37 hours per week, often on weekends, plus overtime and some night shifts.
Annual leave is 23 days per year, increasing to 25.5 days after three years of service and 26.5 days after ten years of service.
On Wednesday, one guard, a member of the Royal Company of Archers, was seen collapsing from exhaustion while standing over the Queen’s coffin.
The man had briefly stepped away from the podium before resuming his position as other servicemen joined him for a changeover.
However, he blacked out and fell forward, landing sprawled on the stone floor to loud gasps from bystanders lining up to pay their respects.
The live stream was also interrupted for several minutes while officers rushed to the man’s aid.
He reportedly recovered soon after, as thousands of mourners lined up to pay their last respects to the monarch after her death at Balmoral last Thursday.