Here’s London Guards Can’t Smile!

One of the most famous sights of London is of the stoic, unmoved soldiers outside Buckingham Palace and other important buildings.

These ceremonial guards are known for their unbending and uncompromising attitudes, and they wear striking red tunics and black bearskin helmets.

Visitors from all over the world come to see them and do their best to get these mysterious beings to smile.

However, despite their best efforts, the London guards are stubbornly expressionless, leading many to question why they are unable to smile.

We’ll examine the history and traditions involving them in this article for understanding the causes of these stoic guards’ neutral behavior.

Are London Guards Allowed To Smile While On Duty?

While on duty, guards at Buckingham Palace aren’t allowed to smile. This is because their job requires them to maintain a cold attitude and show authority, which would be compromised by smiling.

Guards may smile under some circumstances, such as when they are off duty when they are socializing with children, and when they are doing specific ceremonial tasks.

What Happens If A London Security Guard Smiles While On Duty?

A Buckingham Palace guard breaking their duties, if they smile, is regarded as being quite unprofessional. This is because while on duty, the guards are expected to present themselves seriously and professionally.

As a result, if a guard at Buckingham Palace is observed smiling while on duty, they may receive a warning or perhaps lose their job.

Additionally, this breach of etiquette might be interpreted as showing contempt for the royal family, who frequently visit the palace’s grounds.

What Are The Specific Rules That London Guards Must Follow While On Duty?

The London guards, commonly known as the Queen’s Guard or Household Division, are in charge of maintaining security and carrying out ceremonial responsibilities at royal homes.

They are required to follow a set of particular guidelines while on duty to keep their professionalism, discipline, and the safety of the royal family.

Within the Household Division, the regulations can vary slightly depending on the regiment, however, the following general rules include:

  • Bearskin Hat

To make the Queen’s Guard appear more threatening and taller to the enemy, they were once required to wear bearskin hats.

The caps were originally made of actual bear fur, but everyone eventually switched back to the real thing after the monarchs tried using synthetic fur for a while.

Additionally, those caps are rather weighty and heat-prone. They are estimated to weigh anywhere between four and a half and nine pounds.

  • Black Pants

The black pants have quite an embarrassing story to tell when it comes to the Queen’s Guard. It is true that these people work for two hours and are then off for four but during those two hours, they cannot be excused from their post no matter what the circumstances are.

This is why they are provided with black pants in case an unforeseen catastrophe arises and they are unable to get to the bathroom in time.

Unexpected accidents can be kept under wraps more easily by using a dark hue and constructing them with thick wool.

  • They can’t  faint

The guard still has a routine to follow if the unlucky person passes out from exhaustion or heat because of how strict the restrictions are in this unit.

You can find those images of the Guard members lying face down because if one of them faints, he must make sure he does so while still standing at attention.

  • They can’t move

While on duty, the Queen’s Guards are not authorized to move or react to whatever the tourists throw at them.

However, according to the guidelines, they can march up and down the street to get some exercise and prevent fainting after being still for at least 10 minutes.

To prevent standing people from passing out, several guards have also mentioned how the huge boots are designed to offer some area for the toes to move around.

  • They can’t smile

Have you ever questioned why these people never seem to smile? The rule book states that financial penalties can be one of the primary factors if this ever occurs.

A supervisor has the power to penalize a guard from a few days’ pay to a week’s pay if they are seen smiling or, God forbid, laughing.

That’s no light punishment for a smile, as the total for that may end up being in the $355 range.

  • Never touch a guard

People who are familiar with London are aware that it is improper to touch a member of the Queen’s Guard.

If so, they are permitted to yell commands at you to get you to leave. Their soldiers may even show their bayonets at them if anyone begins to act aggressively.

  • Queen’s guards are required to pass a test

Before enlisting, recruits must complete the British Army Recruit Battery test according to Reader’s Digest.

The 30-minute computer-based exam evaluates one’s capacity for problem-solving and critical thinking. The test also looks at the candidate’s ability to transition into appropriate posts in the British Army.