Five regiments of the British Army form the Queen's Foot Guards
|The Queen's Guard are responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace in London. They usually consist of Foot Guards (guards on foot) wearing full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins (hats).|
When The Queen is in residence, there are four Foot Guards at the front of the building; when she is away there are two.
The Queen's Guard changes in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at 11.30 am, and lasts about 45 minutes. There is no Guard Mounting in very wet weather. During the autumn and winter, Guard Mounting takes place on alternate days, but it is held daily during spring and summer.
During the month of April 2009, the Changing the Guard will take place at Buckingham Palace on even dates, i.e. 2, 4, 6, and daily at Windsor Castle.
From May to July 2009 inclusive, Changing the Guard will take place daily at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
Buckingham Palace is immediately adjacent to St James's Park and The Green Park.
Please note that in August you might not see the soldiers wearing the red uniforms as often other regiments guard the Queen during this month. Also during wet or cold weather the guards wear grey coats
St James's Palace
The Queen's Guard changes at St James's Palace at 11:00am prior to marching to Buckingham Palace.
The Foot Guard Uniform
From a distance the full dress uniforms worn by the men of the five Regiments of Foot Guards look identical. All the Officers and Guardsmen wear
How to spot the different regiments
There are various other methods of telling apart the five different regiments - the colour of the plume and what side it is worn on the bearskin (hat), the collar badge and the shoulder badge.
The buttons on all the guards' uniforms are gold and bear The Queen's insignia.
The 18-inch-tall (45.7cm) bearskins worn by the Foot Guards are made of real bearskin from Canadian brown bears and weigh 1.5lbs. The bearskins were first worn by British soldiers in 1815, following the defeat of Napoleon's French Imperial Guards at the battle of Waterloo. The French grenadiers wore bearskins to appear taller and more intimidating, and Britain adopted the towering hats for soldiers in ceremonial duties and guarding royal residencies as a symbol of its victory.
For many years the Ministry of Defence and the British Army have tried to find a synthetic alternative to the fur. As yet, no acceptable alternative to the fur has been found.
Why does the Queen have so many guards?
The Queen is a very important person. Most of the guards are there for ceremonial purposes.
Buckingham Palace also contains its own police station, and the Royal Family have their own protection officers at all times.
How many guards are there for Buckingham Palace?
When The Queen is in residence, there are four Foot Guards at the front of the building; when she is away there are two. Altogether the Guard consists of three officers and 36 soldiers.
What are the guards that stand in front of the castle wearing red coats and those large black fur hats? Are they called sentries or just guards?
They are called the Queen's Guard. They consists of Foot Guards in full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins (hats).
How come the Queen's Guards do not move?
Traditionally the Queen's Guards are not allowed to move. Typically, a Guardsman spends two hours on duty and four off. He is not expected to stand still for any more than ten minutes at a time. Every so often, he will march up and down in front of his sentry box, rather like a policeman "walking the beat".