There are Hearts of Oak guarding the Queen
A scratch group of 48 RN officers, NCOs and sailors are this week guarding Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, The Tower of London and St James’s Palace as a unit for the first time. The duty traditionally falls to one of the five Foot Guards Regiments from the Army’s London Garrison Household Division, but this is believed to be the first time the Royal Navy are mounting the Queen’s Guard– though Sir Walter Raleigh was appointed Captain of the Queen’s Guard in 1587.
The Royal Marines, meanwhile, have completed the Queen’s Guard on at least three occasions.
The sailors are “dressed in pristine navy blue double-breasted greatcoats with white belts, white caps, white gaiters and black boots” with SA80 (L85 Enfield) rifles and bayonets, complete with white and brass sheaths, in tow.
“The sight of sailors undertaking public duties in our capital city is a sign that the Royal Navy is back where it belongs, at the very heart of national life,” said First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Philip Jones.
So what have the Guards been doing while the RN is on the watch? Well, at least one small group of Grenadier Guards have been hanging out in Africa fighting poachers in Liwonde National Park in Malawi. Armed with AK-47s and the like, armed poachers have killed over 100 park rangers in the past year.
The Grenadiers have been working “side by side with teams from African Parks and the Malawian Department of National Parks and Wildlife to mentor the Rangers. With 548 km2 of woodland and dry savannah to cover, a tactical shift to long-range patrols has paid off. During the three-month period, the teams removed 362 snare traps, two gin traps and more than 700 meters of illegal fishing nets in the park.”
Nine poacher camps have also been destroyed and a number of suspects arrested. So there’s that.