Queen Elizabeth had a close shave with London’s ceremonial “mourning sword” on Wednesday.
The incident occurred during the Queen’s attendance at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday. Elizabeth, who turned 87 on Sunday, was walking the stairs of St. Paul’s Cathedral, accompanied by the her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. The pair trailed behind Roger Gifford, the Lord Mayor of London, who carried the “mourning sword” to honor the passing of the Iron Lady.
After turning to greet the Queen, Gifford quickly spun around, paying no heed to the 4 feet of steel that was strapped to his side. Luckily, the aging royal still has her reflexes, dodging the sword before it could do any damage.
For his part, Gifford seemed completely unaware of the fact that he had nearly slashed a member of the royal family. The Duke seemed amused by the situation, while Queen Elizabeth appeared to be a bit rattled by the near miss.
A spokesman for Gifford declined to comment on the incident, the Daily Mail reports.
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The “mourning sword,” which is colored black and measures over 4 feet in length, is only used at major ceremonies. The blade is believed to have been forged in the 1500s.
Before Thatcher’s funeral, the blade had not been used since the death of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965, The Telegraph reports.