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Viral pic shows Beefeaters, who watched over Queen's coffin in gruelling SIX HOUR SHIFTS, taking well-deserved break

The royal guards, officially called 'Yeomen Warders' and nicknamed 'beefeaters', have been standing guard on a 24-hour schedule during the Queen's lying-in-state
UPDATED SEP 19, 2022
Yeomen Warders take a brief rest in between shifts (Twitter/DefenceHQ)
Yeomen Warders take a brief rest in between shifts (Twitter/DefenceHQ)

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: A viral photograph shows the Royal guards who stand by Queen Elizabeth II's flag-draped coffin taking a well-earned rest. The Yeomen Warders, who have been guarding the Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, are nicknamed the 'beefeaters.' After the death of the Queen, they have been standing guard over the coffin during the Queen's lying-in-state at Westminster Hall. 

In the photograph shared by the official Twitter handle of the UK's Ministry of Defence, the guards putting their feet up in between their six-hour shifts. Notably, the Yeomen Warders, along with the Gentlemen at Arms and the Royal Company of Archers, have been continuously standing guard on a 24-hour schedule, taking on a grueling six hours each per shift. 


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"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," read the tweet, featuring several behind-the-scenes images. Yeomen Warders have been standing guard over the Queen's coffin that has the Imperial State Crown, the Sovereign’s orb and scepter resting atop it during the lying in state on the catafalque at Westminster Hall.

The Yeomen Warders carry a rich history. As royal guards, they have been guarding the Tower of London since Tudor times. They formed the personal bodyguard of Henry VIII and traveled with the King to provide security. As per an article by the Daily Mail, salaries for the posts start at $34,118.10 (£30,000) a year. Each guard is given flats for residence, while several beefeaters are expected to live within the premises of the Tower of London with their families.

Yeomen Warders outside The Tower of London ahead of a 96 round gun salute at the Tower of London as King Charles III is proclaimed King during the accession council on September 10, 2022 in London, England. His Majesty The King is proclaimed at the Accession Council in the State Apartments of St James's Palace, London. The Accession Council, attended by Privy Councillors, is divided into two parts. In part I, the Privy Council, without The King present, proclaims the Sovereign and part II where The King holds the first meeting of His Majesty's Privy Council. The Accession Council is followed by the first public reading of the Principal Proclamation read from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James's Palace. The Proclamation is read by the Garter King of Arms, accompanied by the Earl Marshal, other Officers of Arms and the Serjeants-at-Arms.
Yeomen Warders outside The Tower of London ahead of a 96-round gun salute at the Tower of London as King Charles III is proclaimed King during the accession council (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

The members of the Yeomen Body, are drawn from all three branches of the military. The applicants for the position must fulfill several criteria to qualify for the post. They are required to have served for at least 22 years in the army. In addition to this, they are also expected to hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. The source also reports that once appointed, Yeomen Warders typically work 37 hours a week. They are often required to work over the weekend as well as pull night shifts. 

Earlier this week, one member of the Royal Company of Archers passed out due to exhaustion while standing guard over the Queen's coffin on Wednesday, September 14. Following this, the live broadcast was halted for a moment as police rushed to help him. He was said to have recovered soon afterward.