Guarding the Queen

July 17, 2007 by  
Filed under News

Queen’s GuardReality documentaries have become popular over recent years and give a fly-on-the-wall view of the work of others. There have been series about vets, airport staff, refuse collectors and even nightclub bouncers. This series follows several members of the Grenadier Guards who are responsible for guarding the Queen and members of the Royal Family. The Grenadiers are one of the oldest regiments of the British Army and had their 350th anniversary last year.

The Guards are a major tourist attraction with ceremonies such as “The Changing of the Guard” and the “Trooping of the Colour” all performed with military precision and full pomp and ceremony. They are known for standing outside the sentry boxes at

Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace, dressed in bright red military tunics topped with bearskin caps (the cap is also known as a busby).

Guarding the Queen, the new three-part documentary, on ITV1 focuses on new recruits having a drill and taking up sentry duties after only 7 days. One of the recruits – Stephen Cooper was reprimanded for not having braces to hold up his tweeds (trousers). A button on the £2000 suit split just before the Changing of the Guard ceremony in which he was participating. His mother and sister attended the ceremony and went to see him standing at St James Palace. As he was on guard, he stood motionless and expressionless as his young sister held his hand. The only emotion he showed was a squeeze of her hand.

The first episode also showed the Grenadier Guards band being assessed on their performing of military marches, swing and jazz, classical music and even a song by The Scissor Sisters. They were considered “fit for duty”. It also followed military training for those who had returned from Iraq on front-line duties and were due to serve in Afghanistan in 7 short weeks. The series is a fascinating insight into the work and expectations of the Guards.

StumbleUpon It!


  1. ceris says:

    guarding the queen was a brilliant documentary – mostly because of my boyfriend, steven cooper and i hope he comes back safe from afghanistan. i’m really proud of him.

  2. Jill Massey says:

    I would love to make a comment about the programme on 17 July but unfortunately due to a power cut I was unable to watch it.

    ITV say they are not repeating it nor will it be available as a download

    Please has anyone got a recording of the programme – I would love to get my hands on a copy – any reasonable costs will be refunded

  3. Su says:

    Brilliant programme, have known Scott, one of the recruits for a few years, felt very proud to know him! Hope you come back safe and very soon X

  4. Mark says:

    Ref: Jill Massey message on July 19th, 2007. I’ve got the 17th Julys progamme on my SKY+ hard drive, an i’m going to put all them all unto DVD. I’ll burn you a copy when done.

  5. Ed Clarke says:

    Heya Jill,

    My Gran is recording it on DVD (all 3) if you email me on we can arrange something.

    Kind Regards


  6. Jill Massey says:

    Hi Ed & Mark

    Many thanks – my e mail is

    Look forward to hearing from you



  7. youtube says:

    you can watch guarding the queen on youtube if you just type it in!

  8. michelle says:

    i loved watching this!
    my other half was in it!! i was so proud!
    cant wait for his return from afgan 🙂
    miss him so much!

  9. Rick says:

    I was looking forward to seeing the final episode as I was a friend of Tony Downes. I missed it because my TV and magazine said it was on at 2100 and not 2000 🙁 If anyone has a recording I’d really appreciate it if you get in touch.

  10. Charlotte says:

    I was agreat fan of this documentary but i missed the last episode – would anyone be able to advise me where i can get a copy from? It would be really useful – my email address is