Guarding the Queen
Reality 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
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