Guardsmen: Standing tall

You’ll recognise them by the 45cm-tall bearskin hats they wear while standing guard outside Buckingham Palace. A Guardsman’s skills stretch way beyond standing still though. The Grenadier Guards is one of five guards regiments and is among the oldest in the Army, combining ceremonial duties with Infantry soldiering.

A varied role

From taking part in state occasions, such as Trooping the Colour, to being on combat operations, Guardsmen have one of the most challenging roles in the military. On completion of training at ITC Catterick, recruits are assigned to Wellington Barracks in London, where they learn how to stand guard (known as ‘stagging on’), parade and look after their uniforms. Following this, they join their Battalion and are taught advanced soldiering tactics.

'I always wanted to join the Guards,' explains Guardsman Aaron Hinton. 'People think that it’s just a ceremonial role but we’re trained soldiers – we’ve been the last line of defence to the Crown for over 300 years so we’ve got a real duty and tradition to keep up.'

It’s a sense of pride that helps a Guardsman stand to attention – virtually motionless – while on post at Buckingham Palace where, contrary to popular belief, his role is about more than just standing still..