11 Secrets the Queen's Guard Don't Like to Speak About
Here is a riddle for you: red jackets, unsmiling faces, and huge black furry hats. Who are they? The University of Houston Marching Band? Well yeah but, I’m talking about those other guys! Those are the Queen's guards in London, the capital city of the UK! These easily recognizable and regularly photographed guys may always be in the limelight, but there are some curious things about them you definitely didn't know!
For example, if an absent-minded tourist doesn't stay out of their way, the guards have all the rights to knock them over. So, watch out! Or have you ever thought why the hat strap is below the guard's nose? The thing is that the hat is so heavy that if it's struck or shot in combat, it would easily break the soldier's neck if the strap was positioned under the chin. 😱
TIMESTAMPS: Can they speak? 0:33 They have to faint according to protocol 0:59 They can't have a bathroom trip 1:38 No nose picking, no scratching an itch 2:00 When do they wear long grey coats? 2:34 They can't smile 3:18 Why they hate hot weather 3:58 How much their bearskin hats weight 4:28 How to become one of the Queen's guard 5:27 Why their jackets are red 6:07 Do they have fun? 6:37
SUMMARY: - It's a fact that no-one is allowed to touch the guards or threaten them. But it’s a widespread myth that they can't speak no matter what. - Even when a guard faints, he has to do it in a particular way. As soon as he feels dizzy, he must remain at attention and keep this position even when he falls, most often ending up face down. - Royal guards have strict instructions to do their necessities right on the spot. Luckily, their heavy woolen trousers are black enough to cover their embarrassment. - Since staying still for too long is bad for their health, every 10 minutes the guards leave their spot, turn, march several paces, then turn around, and go back to their place to stand still for the next 10 minutes. - The Queen's guards wear red jackets in spring and summer and long grey coats during the fall and winter months. The coats are long and warm enough to allow the soldiers to stay motionless for a long time. - If a superior notices a guard stretching his lips in a smile, the guard will face a fine of up to a week's pay! In most cases, the overly cheerful guard should be ready to part with about $260. - It turns out that when the drill boots stay in direct sunlight for too long, the polish on them starts to melt. It means that every time after their shift, the guards have to re-polish their footwear. - Hats made from the real fur are impressively heavy: one can weigh from 4.5 to 9 lb (2 to 4 kg). And when it rains or snows, the Bearskin collects all the liquid and gets even heavier! - To become one of the Queen's guard, you have to take the BARB, which stands for the British Army Recruit Battery test. It's a half-an-hour-long computer-based test which checks your problem solving, analytical, and logical skills. - The red color was chosen because the red pigment was one of the most available at those times. Also, this color needed only one stage in the process of dyeing. - If you’re lucky enough, you can hear them perform the Imperial March from Star Wars or even Indiana Jones and Game of Thrones theme songs!