THE KING’S GUARD – formerly the Queen’s Guard – are best known for performing sentry duty outside Buckingham Palace.
They are expected to stand still and remain expressionless despite becoming the focus of tourist interest.
How much do the King's Guards get paid?
The average salary for a UK soldier is £20,400.
However pay can vary, with an infantryman’s annual salary being £18,932 compared to the average Army Officer salary of £28,556.
What do the King's Guards do?
The King's Guard is the name given to a collection of infantry and cavalry soldiers who guard the official royal residences in the UK though many only associate them with Buckingham Palace.
The King’s Guards are not just ceremonial, they are all actual soldiers.
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They consist of soldiers from The Grenadier Guards, The Coldstream Guards, The Scots Guards, The Irish Guards and The Welsh Guards.
Commonly known for wearing bright red tunics and bearskins, their uniform is one of the most recognisable symbols of London.
How long is a King's Guard shift?
The King’s Guard soldiers will typically be on duty for 24 or 48 hours.
They work in shifts of 2 hours on sentry duty (standing guard stationed in a particular place), before having a 4 hour rest.
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Thereafter, new guards arrive and take over.
Often, they can be on their feet for six hours at a time.
Guards must continue regardless of the weather, with rain causing their bearskins to become significantly heavier and hot weather resulting in a higher risk of heat stroke.
There are strict rules to adhere to such as not grinning or laughing – an infraction of which could result in a £200 fine.
Guards are not generally allowed to talk to the general public.
However, in certain circumstances, such as when people obstruct their way they can shout a warning to get them to move.
They can yell ‘Make way for the King’s Guard!’ or 'Stand clear' to scare away distracting tourists.
They have to pass the British Army Recruit Battery (BARB) test to become a member of the King’s Guard.
Huge crowds gather to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony in London.
You can see the Changing of the Guard on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays between August and May.
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In June and July the ceremony occurs everyday.
The official change usually starts at 11am, but guards will begin to leave the Royal Barracks and St. James’ Palace by 10.30am.
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