Trying to tempt the Queen’s Guard into human interaction is one of the favorite pastimes of visitors to the UK. There are countless photos and videos of tourists posing with guards, making faces at them, and otherwise being disrespectful so as to get a reaction from the poor chaps — usually to no avail. But those who think they can push this rude tradition as far as they want are in for a reality check. While visiting Windsor Castle, one of the Queen’s official residences, a tourist was shoved by a member of the Queen’s Guard when she stood directly in his marching path. With her back to the guard, she let out a yelp of surprise when he pushed her out of the way.
The woman had apparently crossed the rope barrier, meant to separate guards from tourists. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence told The Sun, “The ropes are there to protect both public and our soldiers; please stay behind them.” It’s not the first time, however, that a member of the Queen’s Guard has taken issue with a tourist. Last year a tourist with a rude streak threw a glove at a guard, trying to get him to pick it up, and was scolded by a nearby Beefeater (a guard at the Tower of London).
According to a Reddit AMA conducted in 2014, wherein a guard answered questions from Redditors, it was revealed that the Queen’s Guard is authorized to move members of the public that get in the way of their marching duties. The guard participating in the AMA said, “You are allowed to get them away by shouting warnings at them. If they fail to move away or start to act aggressively we present our bayonets…but usually the police are quick to remove troublemakers.”