The Queen’s Guard & Those Pesky Tourists
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens EF 70-200mm f/2.8L
ISO 200 • f/2.8 • 1/500 sec
What would it take to get these guys to laugh? is the question of the day. The Queen’s Guard are a common sight around London, so I wasn’t surprised to run into this guy on the street. I was shocked, however, that I caught a slight grin before he saluted me and my ginormous camera. *gasp!*
These contingents of soldiers are in charge of guarding the royal residences around London, including Buckingham Palace, St. James’ Palace, the Tower of London, and Windsor Castle, among others. Their main purpose is to protect the royal family and the crown jewels. There are five different kinds of Foot Guards, and most can be told apart by the buttons on their tunics. Since this guy has his buttons in groups of four (assuming he’s missing one button), that would indicate he is one of the Irish Guards. That division also should have a blue plume on their bearskins (the big fuzzy hats), which is not visible here. There, now don’t you feel all smart & stuff?
Most tourists know the guards either from the ceremonial Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, or their rule to stand completely still when on duty. The former is accompanied by a 35-member military band that puts on quite a show. Other times, tourists are the ones to put on a show while trying to get the guards to fall out of character and laugh. For example, this guy went to the trouble of dressing up as Groucho Marx and putting on his own SNL skits!
Ok, so what would you try? What would you do to get these guys to crack a smile?