United Kingdom | French soldiers take part in guard changing ceremony at Buckingham Palace for the first time
Defence Redefined
Published on 09/04/2024 at 15:05

For the first time in history, French soldiers took over the guard of Buckingham palace and participated in the guard changing ceremony.

The moment was historic as France became the first non-Commonwealth country to take part in the said ceremony on Monday, as part of the celebration of the 120th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.

The ceremony was attended by vast crowds watching 32 members of the Garde Républicaine of the Gendarmerie and 40 guardsmen from F Company of the Scots Guards marching together in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace, where they were inspected by the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the French ambassador.

During the ceremony, the national anthems of the two countries were played. The French did not undertake the guard of King Charles, as this responsibility is only given to members of the British Armed Forces and Commonwealth troops.

The Ministry of Defence has announced that a French presence at Buckingham Palace is part of a long-term program of joint UK-France activities celebrating the two nations’ historic military and diplomatic ties in 2024.

This will include military sport events, participation in air demonstrations by the other side, and major events in Normandy in June to honor the heroic service of Allied veterans who fought to liberate France from Nazi occupation.

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