Guards outside Buckingham Palace are a unique and fascinating sight to behold, as they stand at attention in their iconic red coats and black fur hats. For over 300 years, the British monarchy has employed a group of soldiers to protect the royal family and their residences. The soldiers are known as the Household Troops, or more commonly, the Queen’s Guard. Buckingham Palace has been guarded by the Queen’s Guard since the reign of King Charles II in the 1660s.
History of the Queen’s Guard
The Queen’s Guard is made up of five regiments of foot guards: the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards, and Welsh Guards. The oldest of these regiments is the Grenadier Guards, which was founded in 1656. During the reign of King Charles II, the Guards were formed to protect the royal family and their residences. They have since been the personal bodyguard of the monarch and their royal palaces. The Guards are easily recognizable by their distinctive red tunics, bearskin hats, and ceremonial swords.
Duties of the Queen’s Guard
The Queen’s Guard have a number of important duties, including guarding the royal palaces, escorting the royal family on official engagements, and providing ceremonial duties at state occasions. They are also responsible for patrolling the grounds of Buckingham Palace and other royal residences. The Guards are typically stationed outside the gates of Buckingham Palace and can be seen standing at attention, ready to protect the royal family.
Changing of the Guard
The Changing of the Guard is a traditional ceremony that takes place every day at Buckingham Palace. The ceremony involves the old guard handing over their duties to the new guard. The new guard is inspected by an officer and then marches to the palace gates. The old guard then marches off to the sound of a military band. The ceremony is a popular tourist attraction and takes place every morning at 11:30am.
Uniforms of the Queen’s Guard
The uniforms of the Queen’s Guard are iconic and easily recognizable. The Guards wear red tunics with blue facings, and black fur hats known as “bearskins”. The tunics are adorned with gold buttons, epaulettes, and lace. The Guards also carry ceremonial swords, and their weapons are usually unloaded.
- Lee-Enfield rifles
- Enfield Pattern 1853 rifles
- Brown Bess muskets
- Lee-Metford rifles
The Queen’s Guard are an important part of the British monarchy and their presence outside Buckingham Palace is a reminder of the history and tradition of the royal family. The Guards are a popular tourist attraction and their uniforms and weapons are a unique and fascinating sight to behold.