It’s one of the most spectacular royal events of the year — though for a few unlucky bear-fur garbed guards, collapsing under the weight of the occasion appears to be inevitable.
With more than 1,600 officers, 400 musicians and 200 horses in tow, the Queen and members of the royal family are paraded in a carriage from Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade across St. James’s Park. After inspecting her troops, receiving a royal salute and taking a salute of her own, the Queen then joins the royal family – including Prince William, Princess Kate, Prince Harry, and of course, Princess Charlotte and Prince George — on the Palace balcony, where they pose for photos and wave at the crowd.
Unfortunately, that favorable weather often proves to be detrimental for palace guards. Inevitably, despite hundreds of hours of training and rehearsals and the support of colleagues around on parade, there is always at least one who finds himself overcome.
At least one of the men who fainted was lifted and carried out on a stretcher.
An Army spokeswoman told The Daily Express all the soldiers were treated with medical care and are okay.
“We can confirm that during the Queen’s birthday parade today a small number of soldiers fainted,” the spokeswoman said. “It is an extremely hot day and all were removed from the Parade and checked by medical staff where they were hydrated.”
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“Today is traditionally a day of celebration,” she wrote in the letter, signed Elizabeth R. “This year, however, it is difficult to escape a very sombre national mood. In recent months, the country has witnessed a succession of terrible tragedies.”
“As a nation, we continue to reflect and pray for all those who have been directly affected by these events,” the Queen continued. “During recent visits in Manchester and London, I have been profoundly struck by the immediate inclination of people throughout the country to offer comfort and support to those in desperate need.”
“Put to the test, the United Kingdom has been resolute in the face of adversity,” she concluded. “United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favour, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss.”