How To Identify The Foot Guards at Buckingham Palace

  • 01 of 06

    The Foot Guards at Buckingham Palace

    Five Foot Guard Regiments of the Household Division
    Guardsmen stand for pictures in their full ceremonial attire at Wellington Barracks for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee. © Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

    Many people do not realize that when you go to see the Changing of the Guard or see Guards on duty outside Buckingham Palace, these Guards are real soldiers in the British Army. And while guns are generally not carried by law enforcement in London, the guns these Guards have are real and the soldiers are trained to use them. What we see are their ceremonial duties but these men also do everything else you would expect from trained infantry soldiers.

    Five Regiments

    Did you know there are actually five regiments of Foot Guards in the Household Division who provide the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace?

    To understand the rank structure of the Guards, a Lance Corporal has two chevrons instead of one, as per the rest is the British Army. A Lance Sergeant has three chevrons in white and a gold (Grenadier)  and a Full Sergeant (others have four) has three gold chevrons and wears a sash.

    The five regiments have subtle differences with their uniform so this information, and the following...MORE photos should help you identify them in the future. The key things to look for are the buttons on the tunic and the plume (also known as a 'hackle') on the bearskin.

    Quick note: The Household Division also includes two regiments of mounted cavalry: The Life Guards and the Blue and Royals. You can find out more about them at the Household Cavalry Museum. You can find out more about the Foot Guards at The Guards Museum.

    Continue to 2 of 6 below.
  • 02 of 06

    Grenadier Guard

    Grenadier Guard
    Grenadier Guard. © C Squared Studios / Getty Images

    The five regiments of the Household Division have subtle differences with their uniform and this image should help you identify them in the future. The key things to look for are the buttons on the tunic and the plume on the bearskin.

    Grenadier Guards

    Buttons: Single buttons, evenly spaced

    Bearskin Plume: White plume on the left of cap

    Additional Information: Grenade on collar badge and Royal Cipher shoulder badge. The brass belt buckle also has the regimental cipher.

    You can find out more about all five regiments on the first page of this article.

    Quick note: The Household Division also includes two regiments of mounted cavalry: The Life Guards and the Blue and Royals. You can find out more about them at the Household Cavalry Museum. You can find out more about the Foot Guards at The Guards Museum.

    Continue to 3 of 6 below.
  • 03 of 06

    Coldstream Guard

    Coldstream Guards
    Queen Elizabeth II And The Duke Of Edinburgh Present Colours To 1st Battalion And 7 Company The Coldstream Guards. © WPA Pool / Getty Images

    The five regiments of the Household Division have subtle differences with their uniform and this image should help you identify them in the future. The key things to look for are the buttons on the tunic and the plume on the bearskin.

    Coldstream Guard​

    Buttons: Pairs of buttons

    Bearskin Plume: Red plume on the right of cap

    Additional Information: Garter Star on collar badge and Rose on shoulder badge. The brass belt buckle also has the regimental cypher.

    Continue to 4 of 6 below.
  • 04 of 06

    Scots Guard

    Scots Guard
    Scots Guard. © Chris Mellor / Getty Images

    The five regiments of the Household Division have subtle differences with their uniform and this image should help you identify them in the future. The key things to look for are the buttons on the tunic and the plume on the bearskin.

    Scots Guard​

    Buttons: Buttons in threes

    Bearskin Plume: No plume

    Additional Information: Thistle collar badge and Thistle Star on shoulder badge. The brass belt buckle also has the regimental cypher.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Irish Guard

    Irish Guards
    Prince William And The Duchess Of Cambridge Attend A St Patrick's Day Parade. © Danny Martindale / Getty Images

    The five regiments of the Household Division have subtle differences with their uniform and this image should help you identify them in the future. The key things to look for are the buttons on the tunic and the plume on the bearskin.

    Irish Guard

    Buttons: Buttons in fours

    Bearskin Plume: Blue plume on the right of cap

    Additional Information: Shamrock on collar badge and St Patrick Star on shoulder badge. The brass belt buckle also has the regimental ​cipher.

    Continue to 6 of 6 below.
  • 06 of 06

    Welsh Guard

    Welsh Guard
    Guardsmen stand for pictures in their full ceremonial attire at Wellington Barracks for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee. © Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

    The five regiments of the Household Division have subtle differences with their uniform and this image should help you identify them in the future. The key things to look for are the buttons on the tunic and the plume on the bearskin.

    The Welsh Guard is the chap in the center of this image.

    Welsh Guard

    Buttons: Buttons in fives

    Bearskin Plume: White and green plume on left of cap

    Additional Information: Leek on collar badge and Leek on shoulder badge. The brass belt buckle also has the regimental cipher.