The Royal Guards of London are also known as the Household Troops and have the responsibility of guarding the Sovereignty. This dates back to the time of Henry VII ( 1485-1509). They are not just ceremonial but serving Soldiers. They uphold the traditions of the past as well as their duties throughout the world as professional soldiers.
There are seven Regiments that make up the Household Division. They comprise of: The Grenadier Guards, The Coldstream Guards, The Scots Guards, The Irish Guards, The Welsh Guards, The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals. The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals are mounted on horseback, with the other five regiments being on foot.
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The Guards are known for standing hours and hours and not moving. In truth, the guards do move! They “come to life” step out of the guard box and march in front of the Buckingham Palace, then they stamp their feet, turn around and march back to the guard box. In addition, almost every day the guards march in a colourful ceremony. The ceremony is called, “The Changing of the Guard”. They can also be found in other locations in London, Wellington Barracks, St. James Palace and Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall (the perfect place for having your picture taken standing next to a guard mounted on a horse!)
Each Regiment wears a different uniform. The guards who are mounted on horses wear metal helmets with plumes. All the regiments on foot wear red tunics, black trousers with a red stripe and bearskin caps. The uniforms differ with the buttons on the jackets and the side and colour of the plume on the bearskin caps. The hats are made from bearskin, are very tall and called a “busby”. They wear the hat all the time, winter and summer. Sometimes it can be very hot but luckily the weather in London is usually cool, cloudy and rainy, so the Royal Guards don’t mind fur hats on their heads!