IamA Queens Guard! AMA!

  1. We meet royals now and then, depends what and where you are doing business, however anytime we are in their presence, we wouldn’t be relaxed enough to start playing with their pets unfortunately.

  2. What's the most polite/appropriate way to get a photo with a member of the Queen's Guard that is on guard duty in one of the places open to the general public? I really like all things military history but I'm afraid of being one of those annoying tourists that try to mess with the guardsmen.

  3. Well I’ve always found I am more inclined to pose for a photo if someone asks, even though I can’t reply, I sometimes do a small nod to show I’m friendly, if someone’s being a nuisance I might March out the shot.

  4. Got a photo with a guardsman once where my wife was standing in front of him (and the area rope) with a sign. He was visibly uneasy with it until we showed him the sign that said "This is for " ... once he saw we weren't making a statement or being vulgar he was much more chill. By guardsman at attention standards.

  5. The actual changing the guard ceremony is just a show really, however, it achieves the actual guard shift change between regiments or companies, and when we are on guard we are really security, despite what some people may think.

  6. Okay what's up with having that "chin strap" so high up? Like touching your bottom lip? Also if you could change one thing about your uniform, what would it be?

  7. Nowadays: tradition. Originally the curb chain, as it's called, served to protect the face from a sword slash..

  8. Perks can be that you see ‘cool’ things and go places, see people, and do things, the public can’t, and I guess drawbacks would be, you are based in London to do guards, if you live in Scotland for example, it’s costly getting home on a weekend or annual leave.

  9. I once broke a small laugh and smile when what appeared to be a Gay American man started coming onto me and hyping me up. I’m a man.

  10. I kind of made a Guard chuckle once. I was on my honeymoon and my wife wanted me to stand next to the Guard for a picture. I thought it was ridiculous and she was like "go stand next to him" I was like ,"no" We did that a few times until I gave in...looked at the Guard and said "She's making me do this"

  11. What happens if you get sick while on guard duty? Beyond throwing up which I assume you would just do and then continue, what happens if you get sick to the point where it’s difficult to stand or pass out? Is there a way to call for assistance or an early guard change?

  12. If I can’t continue my duty and it’s a safety risk or I’m genuinely going to die, I’ll just radio it in to the guardroom and get a replacement.

  13. Is this confirmation that the Queen's Guard uses discord for correspondence? Is Nitro included in the benefits package?

  14. I'm American, but I have a little die-cast model of a guard in front of the little black shack just like this given to me when I was young from a family friend who's husband was in the CIA and stationed in Europe during the cold War.

  15. How long does your regiment do the guard/ceremonial duties before you switch back to being normal soldiers?

  16. There’s always someone there, there’s people based there all the time and based in other locations all the time, there’s not a specific time to be in London.

  17. To be honest, normally we’re good at just going to the toilet just before we go in duty and we are okay for the duration of duty, if it’s really bad, and you piss yourself, then you piss yourself, but you might have to wear those trousers again in a few hours

  18. Is there any protocol for people who wear religious headdress (muslims, Sikhs, etc) and keep a beard? I assume they can’t wear the hat right?

  19. Well despite popular belief, we don’t undergo laughing training, we just are expected to get on with it and be professional and mature, also a big rumour, if you smile, you won’t just be fined hundreds of pounds and fired or whatever, you’ll get a few telling offs before any major action.

  20. Does it get bad when you're working right under the sun in the height of summer? Have the other guards passed out in the middle of their duty? If so, how often does it happen?

  21. It does get extremely hard when it’s hot, and people do pass out, if they tell someone before hand they will get marched into the palace, if not they will just be looked after my police until someone can get them, and it can happen more often than you think

  22. If you have a bayonet in your face you’ve done more than just be close to me, but every guardsman has their limits of how close they like people to come

  23. What is your training like? Are there elements of armed or unarmed combat? Nonviolent deescalation? Etc.?

  24. I’m your initial training, you’ll do armed combat training obviously, but also we do unarmed training when we do things called battle PT. Also A LOT of people do boxing and martial arts. Also when we do work with the police we get sole extra or different training.

  25. To be honest, it depends where I’m in guard. If it’s a post not seen my the public, I might have a little look around and itch my nose, if I’m at Buckingham palace, I’ll have to deal with it and it goes away eventually, although it’s very painful sometimes.

  26. Might not be able to go home and see family, friends and partners much which is a big restriction, but overall I wouldn’t say there’s too many, just don’t get arrested, don’t release restricted info, and we should be okay.

  27. The chin strap is made so you can push it forward, and it falls off easily. I don't know about the brits, but the Danish Royal Guards also do train how to shoot with it on. But it has to be very acute, as in a *you don't even have time to take it off* situation.

  28. Take this with a pinch of salt, but I'm friends with someone who used to be a member of the Queen's Guard. One of the jobs(? Shifts?) is as a 'corridor guard' where you'd stand guard literally in the corridor adjacent to wherever the Queen is sleeping.

  29. Every Guardsman is different, most never put anything up there, however when we go on guard, we live in the locations for 24hrs to a week, so if someone forgot to put a phone charger in their bag, they might put it in their bearskin.

  30. How did that nutter with a crossbow get inside Windsor Castle last December? Are there not Queen's Guard stationed there too?

  31. There are guards there and police, my guess is he didn’t go through the front gate where the security is, either way they were apprehended within less than a few mins.

  32. I haven’t really, luckily, I’ve shouted at a few people clinging fences but they aren’t any harm, no one’s got over on my duty.

  33. We respond appropriately, we might shout stand back, we might March up to them and shout, we might point our rifle. Or we might arrest someone.

  34. What do you actually do? And how did you end up in this line of work! (Did you always want to do it? What’s the selection process / what are the requirement like?)

  35. Well for the first question, I am firstly a soldier. I am also a Scots Guardsman. I can do things such as go on operational tours, peacekeeping, MACA Ops, training, and Ceremonial and security roles to the royal residences and family. I always wanted to join the police or Armed forces, and I decided I wanted to be a ‘Queen’s Guard. You do training at Catterick ITC, if pass, the guards course, you join us, you’ll need to be fit, and immaculate in drill and uniform at all times, there are a lot of hard tests.

  36. There was a viral video a few years back of a little boy dressed as a guard. The guards changed and one came back and saluted him. What would have been the protocol for that? Would someone have had to have given the guard permission to do that?

  37. My understanding is that you are a full member of the British Military. If the UK went to war overseas would you be eligible to be sent there? Or would you stay in your current role and protect the Royal Family at home?

  38. I would go overseas and fight, I am a British army soldier, although some of us who’d I have to stay and protect the royal residences and family.

  39. The Queen's Guard was deployed during the Falklands War as regular infantry and won several battles. They were seen as immediately available and were withdrawn from public duties. Note their parent battalions were deployed, not the Queen's Guard itself, it isn't a formation, it's just the name for the troops currently guarding the Queen.

  40. We won’t go to jail. If we keep doing it and it’s just really unprofessional, we might get charged money or extra duties and so on

  41. We have been moved into more secure areas. And we are authorised to use any reasonable force, if that includes a weapon, then someone’s having a bad day.

  42. just things like when a child is scared to come over to me and their parents are trying to convince them, then they come and see you and they're all cute and say thank you and stuff, it can be really cute!

  43. Show do you stand at attention so long? Have you ever passed out? I know the tricks of clenching muscles and wiggling toes to get blood flowing, but they only work so well. Also, when you start marching after a long time in one position, do you feel really off balance?

  44. Luckily we don’t stand to attention for that long, we stand at ease but not easy. We will March anytime we feel like it as long as it’s not more than 10 mins since the last March (patrol)

  45. Is it true that there is a protocol to follow should you faint? I’ve heard that you have to keep the same pose whilst fainting or something along those lines?

  46. I can’t comment on that but it wasn’t at the ‘Guards’ barracks (Wellington barracks) it is reported to have happened at Victoria barracks which is the Coldstream guards barracks for their battalion, not their ceremonial comapny.

  47. The Queen’s Guard shuffle to the left! I thought it was a mistake until I saw it again. Please tell me there is a reason for the little dance move and not just a regular sidestep to the left?

  48. For two countries that literary seem to hate each other, that guard ceremony is one of the funniest things you can witness.

  49. Its like someone took a trip to England and came back with a description of how the changing of the guards should be, but they got it wrong.

  50. Do you actually love the Queen and the monarchy or is it just a job to you? Are you actually ok with the idea of sacrificing your life for them if you had to? Do you feel like you are defending a person? A symbol? the kingdom? All of the above?

  51. My mission is to act in a smart and soldier like man it at all times and to show the status of the royal family, then we have an execution to that mission and then we have orders at the box. Our job is to protect and keep things safe, not to be political that all

  52. This could probably be answered by any UK service member, but is the SA80 really as bad as its reputation suggests?

  53. If I’m basic I like pepperoni, but if I’m feeling like more I’ll have maybe ham, or a meet feast or something like that!

  54. What non threatening event would cause you to leave your post? For example. If you saw a vehicle accident. Would you be able to help or still required to stand guard?

  55. If I was at Buckingham palace, I’d let the police deal with it, they’d get their quicker and be more practical, I can’t move very well in the uniform, if I was in Windsor Castle and someone collapsed in front of me, I’d not hesitate to deliver first aid or cpr or whatever I can do to help

  56. What if someone tells you a joke and you break character and you can't help but laugh really hard, what happens to you?

  57. No, actually there’s some rules at the tower where we should talk commands first in some areas, if there’s no rules, shout all you like

  58. If Scotland became independent would you leave the British army to serve Scotland or stay in? Or what would most Scottish soldiers do in your opinion?

  59. I LOVE an Indian takeaway, Lamb tikka masala and naan bread, and guards will drink anything! Give a Scots guardsman a bottle of Buckfast and help love you forever!

  60. Have you ever seen the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery in the US? If so, what do you think of that ceremony compared to yours?

  61. Im not a guardsman for either! That said, I’ve seen both. For those that may not know Arlington is extremely somber and a stark reminder of the last full measure of devotion given. In the other situation it is a ceremony, celebration and reminder of HM and her station, or of the monarchy. Both highly trained, highly professional, different purposes.

  62. You and the Vatican guards.. it’s super hard for me to imagine you guys at home on a computer playing games and shit.

  63. thanks for the question! and yes a lot of these questions posted hours ago and I'll have to come back tomorrow and the day after to reply to a lot. im quite busy and theres more comments than I expected! however, outside of work a lot of us socialise in the pubs, i go out to movies with my friends, go on drives, might cause some trouble, but thats life, i also play the guitar a lot as a hobby, i have an xbox and computer and phone and enjoy some down time!

  64. Have you ever been involved in an incident that forced you to use force or violence? If not, when was the last time a castle guard had to do so?

  65. If you were standing at your post, and you saw a puppy drowning in a hole filled with water across the street, would you help it?

  66. I can't think of a guard post where that'd be able to happen, but if there was, I would help, I'm still a human and aren't heartless.

  67. Does anyone in the royal family know you by name? Have any of them ever done anything nice for you? Whether grand, you know, like hook your family up with tickets to the opera, or even small, like gave your kid a stuffed animal?

  68. Are you stationed outside Buckingham Palace or do you move around at all? Does HRH HM have an honour guard that travels with her to protect her person?

  69. We are based outside of Buckingham Palace in Wellington barracks. When we are on duty on guard, we will be stationed in the palaces/castles. We rotate and move around these locations every 24 hours to a week depending on the location.

  70. It is a full time job, I seem to be on around £23,200 a year, before tax, but I’ve been in a while and it goes up each year, others might get £20,500 - £22,000 a year before tax, higher ranks get more.

  71. How I make a couple of tea: Tea bag in. Hot water in. Stir, squeeze bag with spoon. Take out bag. (Sugar if applicable) Put in a bit of milk.

  72. What is the boundary for when you shout at tourists/unsuspecting people? (Like when they step too far into something that you’re patrolling)

  73. Wouldn't you be able to guard the Queen more efficiently if nobody actually recognized you and knew why you were there; if you looked just like a random passerby in regular clothing? Or are there already other people with that task and you are just a decoy?

  74. There are people who are plain clothes and who are hiding inside and outside, however we are there as a security force to be used, and also as a visual deterrent, I’m sure out rifles and bayonets help.

  75. I can say that they might it might but be depending on the threat level and what’s going on, the guard commander (officer) will dictate if rounds are carried, if they aren’t, we have them very close by to just put straight into the rifle, so I’d just act like they are, even with no ammo, they’re dangerous.

  76. i don't want to say whos job is harder, but i have massive respect for them, i understand a lot of their pain, i have a few questions about them myself actually, like are they purely cerimonial? is their weapon practical, like we use the same rifle we are deployed overseas with.

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