Yeoman of The Guard, Messenger Sergeant Major--single figure
Item Number: CE091
Yeoman of The Guard, Messenger Sergeant Major
One of several, very senior Non Commissioned Officers who can be easily recognized by the four, broad golden yellow chevrons on his right arm. In addition, this man carries a long, black baton to emphasize his rank and position in the hierarchy.
All four Yeoman carry the late Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ ‘Royal Cypher’ EⅡR on the front bodice of their uniform alongwith the four floral symbols of Great Britain; the rose of England, the thistle of Scotland, the leek of Wales, and the shamrock representing Northern Ireland.
"Guarding The Sovereign & Their Jewels"
The Yeomen of The Guard form the personal bodyguard of the British sovereign and have been in continuous existence since their formation by King Henry Ⅵ in 1485. Originally, they were responsible for the King’s (or sometimes Queen’s) safety on journeys at home or abroad and on the battlefield. In addition, they guarded his palaces, patrolled their precincts, and perimeters as well as guarding all entrances and exits. They even, in times gone by, tasted the sovereign’s own food!
Today’s Yeomen of the Guard still wear uniforms that harken back to their formation during the reign of the Tudors and carry weapons that are distinctly similar to the same historical period.
For everyday duties the Yeoman’s uniform is black with red detailing. For the great ceremonies of state, the more classic and much more colourful ceremonial uniform is red with golden yellow and black design details.
Among the most important state events where the ceremonial uniforms can be worn and seen are:
- The State Opening of Parliament
- Receptions for Foreign Heads of State
- All Royal Weddings, Funerals and other Celebrations.
STRENGTH, NUMBERS, & RECRUITMENT
Originally, The Guard numbered just 50 and were all male. Presently, that number has grown to become 79 and also includes a few women. To be selected for the Guard, an applicant must be at least 50 years of age and have served in a branch of the British Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force and / or Royal Marines) for 20 years or more. They should also have reached the minimum rank of Sergeant to be even considered and must have been awarded the Good Conduct and Long Service medal. Retirement is mandatory at 70 for all members of the Guard.
Visitors to London wishing to see the Yeomen of The Guard going about their duties can best view them on duty at the Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are stored and protected.
Released in MAY 2023.