Posted on November 21, 2017
Changing of the times! Royal Navy sailors in blue and white will replace Queen’s Guards in red and black on their first ever Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
- Coldstream Guards to be replaced with Navy sailors for the first time ever
- Sailors will be dressed in navy blue greatcoats with white belts, white caps
- They will be the first line of defence for Buckingham Palace in event of attack
Royal Navy sailors in uniforms of blue and white will replace the Queen’s Coldstream guards at Buckingham Palace in a historical first.
Eight-six sailors from 45 Royal Navy Ships will be taking over the role from the instantly-recognisable guards in red and black after a Changing the Guard ceremony later this month.
The sailors will be guarding Her Majesty at ceremonial occasions at Buckingham Palace and her home residence of Windsor Castle. They will also be conducting duties at St James’s Palace and the Tower of London.
The duty traditionally falls to one of the five Foot Guards Regiments from the Army’s Household Division, but this is believed to be the first time the Royal Navy are mounting the Queen’s Guard.
Other members of the Naval Service – The Royal Marines – have completed the Queen’s Guard on three occasions.
The sailors will be dressed in pristine navy blue double breasted greatcoats with white belts, white caps, white gaiters and black boots.
The Royal Navy Changing the Guard will take place at the Palace on Sunday November 26, followed by Windsor Castle on Monday November 27.
Warrant Officer Eddie Wearing, the Navy’s state ceremonial training officer, said: ‘It’s daunting but I’m very excited. It’s something I’ve been pushing for since I started in-post.
‘To be the conducting Warrant Officer for the first mount ever in the Royal Navy is a massive privilege and an honour to do, I’m really looking forward to it.’
Lieutenant Commander Steve Elliott, 44, from Portsmouth, will be leading the sailors in the role of Captain of the Queen’s Guard – believed to be the first in the Royal Navy since Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587.
Lt Cdr Elliott said: ‘As we march out of Wellington Barracks for the first time I’m fairly sure everyone will grow a good eight to ten inches.
‘It’s great to do this ceremonial piece and have the Royal Navy back in the public eye as well as act as a capstone to the year of the Royal Navy.’
The sailors have also been practising with drill instructors from the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards to perfect their routines.
Since 1660, Household Troops have guarded the monarch and the Royal Palaces.
Hundreds of tourists gather to watch the colourful spectacle of the Changing the Guard ceremonies at Buckingham Palace and Windsor.
During the ceremony, which is also known as Guard Mounting, the Old Guard – the guards currently on duty – line up in front of the Palace and are replaced by the New Guard which arrives from Wellington Barracks.
The New Guard is accompanied by a Band or Corps of Drums and the ceremony represents a formal handover of responsibilities.