The King's Guard, formerly known as the Queen’s Guard, has always been a fascinating spectacle for tourists worldwide. Visitors flock to Buckingham Palace, eager to witness the stoic and often stern soldiers who stand guard with unwavering discipline. However, behind the iconic red uniforms and the striking precision of their ceremonial duties lies a revelation that has left many people shocked by theKing's Guard salary.
A TikTok user known as @howmuchthough, with a substantial following of 196,000, decided to shed light on the financial aspect of being a King's Guard. In a video that has since gone viral, he unraveled the mysteries behind their paychecks.
He began by explaining that the King's Guard is primarily composed of soldiers from five different regiments: the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scot, Irish, and Welsh guards. But what does it take to become one of these iconic figures?
"Well," the TikToker began, "you have to be older than 16 and younger than 35 and a half years old and be physically fit." Surprisingly, there are no specific education requirements. However, there is a rigorous training regimen for those aspiring to join the King's Guard. It starts with 28 weeks at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick (ITC Catterick), where trainees learn essential skillssuch as weapon handling, live firing, survival techniques, first aid, map reading, and physical conditioning.
"Drill training is also a significant focus due to its importance in the job," the TikToker added.
Following their training, recruits are assigned to their respective battalions, like the Grenadier or Coldstream guards.
"You'll move to the Wellington barracks, located just 300 yards away from Buckingham Palace," the TikToker explained. "Not bad lodgings, considering it's right in the heart of London."
At this point, trainees spend six to 18 months predominantly focusing on ceremonial duties. But what about their salaries?
Tiktoker @howmuchthough talking about the King's Guard Salary
As they progress in rank, their salaries increase significantly.
"Once promoted to Guardsman, the equivalent of a private, your salary jumps to £23,496 after 26 weeks of service," the TikToker continued.
"When you reach the rank of Lance Corporal, you'll be earning £34,497 annually."
Curiously, the corporate hierarchy differs for the King's Guard, with the next rank being Lance Sergeant, starting at £36,728 per year.
"The next promotion is Sergeant, who begins with a salary of £41,374 a year, followed by Colour Sergeants, who start at £46,815 annually."
However, there's a catch. "If you don't reach the rank of Lance Sergeant within 12 years, you'll be discharged from the guards," the TikToker concluded.
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. It's important to note that the King’s Guards are not just ceremonial; they are all actual soldiers.
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 recognizable symbols of London.
As history unfolded, the duty to protect the monarch's realm transitioned from kings to queens. Thus, the transition to the Queen's Guard.
The Queen's Guard is a name given to a collection of infantry and cavalry soldiers tasked with guarding the official royal residences in the U.K. These dedicated troops are soldiers of the British Army, hailing from five distinct regiments:
- The Grenadier Guards
- The Coldstream Guards
- The Scots Guards
- The Irish Guards
- The Welsh Guards
These regiments form the backbone of the Queen's Guard, each contributing to the prestigious role of protecting the royal residences. It's worth noting that the training for all these regiments is centralized and conducted at a select number of training establishments across the country.
One key aspect to understand is that being part of the renowned Queen's Guard is just one of the roles that these troops undertake in their military careers. Consequently, their salary is determined by their rank rather than their specific location or regiment. This can result in soldiers in the same parade, standing side by side, having different ranks and, consequently, different salaries.
The King’s Guard soldiers will typically be on duty for 24 or 48 hours, working in shifts of 2 hours on sentry duty, followed by a 4-hour rest period. After that, new guards arrive and take over. Often, they can be on their feet for six hours at a time.
Guards must continue their duties 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, with an infraction potentially resulting 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 discourage distracting tourists.
To become a member of the King’s Guard, individuals must pass the British Army Recruit Battery (BARB) test.
Huge crowds gather to watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony in London, which occurs between August and May on
- and Sundays
In June and July, the ceremony takes place every day. The official change usually starts at 11 a.m., but guards will begin to leave the Royal Barracks and St. James’ Palace by 10:30 a.m.
The King's Guard salaries vary depending on rank and experience, offering both challenges and opportunities for career progression. While their iconic ceremonial duties are well-known, these soldiers also engage in operational duties, including combat and humanitarian missions.
Despite their famous roles, the King's Guards are part of the British Army and are not employees of Buckingham Palace. Their living conditions, daily routines, and salaries differ from other palace staff, and they also have the option to explore career opportunities directly with the Ministry of Defence.
A Royal Guard embodies the core values of self-discipline, teamwork, and physical fitness, similar to other military soldiers. Although their role may seem less physically demanding than other infantry positions in combat zones, standing still for about six hours a day can be physically taxing, especially in their thick uniforms and challenging weather conditions.
In addition to physical strength, Royal Guards require essential skills and attributes, including:
- Teamwork and camaraderie - Effective teamwork is crucial in military settings. Whether performing drills or marching, coordination, and support among the guards are vital for appearing as a cohesive unit. The camaraderie formed among Coldstream Guards is especially crucial during challenging deployments overseas.
- Leadership skills - Leadership qualities are valuable in the King's Guard, even for those not seeking formal leadership roles. Strong leaders can take on additional responsibilities and mentor others, which is essential for those aiming for promotion to more senior ranks.
- Communication skills - Strong verbal and written communication skills are essential for operational duties and maintaining clarity in high-pressure environments. Officers in the Royal Guard particularly rely on written communication for reports and other responsibilities.
The King's Guard combines tradition, discipline, and adaptability, making it a unique and respected branch of the British Army. As they continue to stand vigilant outside Buckingham Palace, their role remains a symbol of both history and contemporary service to the crown.
The King's Guard follows strict rules, including no speaking or smiling while on duty. However, they are allowed to warn rule-breaking tourists.
The primary purpose of the King's Guard is to protect the Sovereign.
The King's Guard is commanded by a Captain, typically holding the rank of Major, and each Detachment is led by a Lieutenant. The Colour of the Battalion providing the Guard is carried by a Second Lieutenant, known as the Ensign.
The Royal Guard, consisting of five regiments of British Foot Guards, protects the King at various castles and palaces. These regiments are the Grenadier, Coldstream, Scots, Irish, and Welsh Guards.
Members of the King's Guard are not allowed to marry or father children.
One of the significant challenges for a King's Guard soldier is standing absolutely still for hours at a time, which can be more challenging than it seems.
The Kingsguard is an elite group of seven knights, known as the greatest and most skilled warriors in Westeros. They serve as the royal bodyguard of the King, responsible for protecting the royal family from harm at all times.
Yes, the Kingsguard is an elite group of seven knights, considered the greatest and most skilled warriors in Westeros. They serve as the royal bodyguard of the King and are responsible for protecting the royal family from harm at all times.
Royal guards work for two hours and then have a four-hour break. However, during those two hours, they cannot leave their post, even for bathroom breaks. They are provided with black pants for unforeseen circumstances.
When the King is in London, the Guard consists of one Officer, one Corporal Major (who carries the Standard), two Non-Commissioned Officers, one Trumpeter, and ten Troopers. This formation is known as a Long Guard.
When The Queen is in residence, there are four Foot Guards at the front of the building. When she is away, there are two guards. In total, the Guard consists of three officers and 36 soldiers.
Royal guards are highly trained and dedicated individuals, but they can indeed quit their jobs. However, the process of resignation is governed by strict protocols and requires approval from their superiors. Once they have resigned, they are no longer allowed to serve as royal guards.
In summary, the King's Guard salary reveals a well-structured compensation system that rewards dedication and progression in the ranks. Starting at £18,687 and increasing significantly as soldiers advance to positions like Lance Corporal, Lance Sergeant, Sergeant, and Colour Sergeant, this financial incentive serves as a testament to the commitment and professionalism of these iconic guards. Beyond their ceremonial roles, these soldiers remain an integral part of the British Army, and their diverse responsibilities and rigorous training reflect the high standards they uphold.
As visitors from around the world marvel at the King's Guard's unwavering presence outside Buckingham Palace, the revelation of their salaries offers a deeper insight into the lives and motivations of these dedicated individuals. Their roles, steeped in tradition and discipline, represent not only a commitment to safeguarding the Sovereign but also an enduring symbol of British history and heritage. So, the next time you witness the stoic figures in their distinctive uniforms, you'll have a greater appreciation for the dedication and the financial rewards that underpin their service to the Crown.