ROYAL Navy sailors, including some from Portsmouth, made history today at the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.
During the traditional ceremony, 48 sailors from across the Royal Navy took their places on the forecourt of Her Majesty the Queen’s London residence.
Representing many branches, the Senior Service’s traditional navy blue uniforms have replaced, for a short period, the distinctive red tunics worn by the Foot Guards.
Starting at Buckingham Palace in full show of the general public, they are also set to mount royal guards at Windsor Castle, The Tower of London and St James’s Palace over the next few weeks.
It is the first time in more than 400 years that sailors have replaced soldiers at Buckingham Palace.
‘The last time the navy had an operational role guarding the Queen was with Elizabeth I, when Sir Walter Raleigh was appointed Captain of the Queen’s Guard in 1587,’ said Lieutenant Commander Steve Elliot, Sir Walter Raleigh’s successor in the role.
‘So it goes back a little while.’
Lt Cdr Elliot’s role as the Captain of the Queen’s Guard will see him ensure his guard can take on the role as the public-facing protection for the Queen.
He added: ‘I’ve got a great team, who have put in long hours, to make this all come together.
‘I’m very proud of my sailors and they can be justifiably proud of themselves.’