[[quoteright:300:[[Series/MrBean http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Mr_bean_rifle1_3140.jpg]]]]

This is a {{British Media Trope|s}} about the '''Queen's Guard''' as it appears in '''fiction'''.

Whenever our ensemble cast goes on an adventure touring UsefulNotes/{{Britain}} (and by "Britain" we mean, of course, [[BritainIsOnlyLondon "London"]]), there's always going to come a point where one or all of our characters wind up at Buckingham Palace where he/she/they will, no doubt, encounter these oddly-dressed [[TheStoic emotionless]] soldiers in [[NiceHat giant, furry hats]] and red shirts who appear to be extremely disciplined and dedicated to following a strict code that seems to entail only two things:

# Marching in perfect synchronization at regular intervals.
# Standing completely still and unresponsive, no matter what is happening around or, more frequently, ''to'' them.

When played straight, one should always expect to see tourist characters trying to provoke an emotional response out of them (usually either laughter or surprise to a sudden "JumpScare"), taking advantage of the guard's duty to remain still (often becoming the victim of a MotionlessMakeover), or observing the surreal levels to which they adhere to their marching schedules and routines--''especially'' the Changing of the Guard--with little to no consequences to the characters observing them.

However, this becomes more and more of a DiscreditedTrope as time goes by and can now effectively be considered a DeadHorseTrope. Silly hats and clothes aside, these guys take their jobs ''[[SeriousBusiness very]]'' [[SeriousBusiness seriously]]; guard duty at Buckingham Palace isn't a purely ceremonial posting like Arlington but part of the security arrangements for the UK's head of state, and those rifles are ''loaded''. And the reason there are five whole Guards infantry regiments, plus two of cavalry, and one of ceremonial Horse Artillery? They're rotated between "public duties" and deployments abroad and have quite a long list of battle honours, including Afghanistan and Iraq. The Guards cavalry are an armoured cavalry regiment when not on ceremonial duties. The Royal Horse Artillery alternate between ceremonial duties, public displays, and terms of active deployment as regular artilerrymen - although they leave the horses and limbers at home and are fully mechanised for this duty. They are responsible for firing the twenty-one gun salutes in Hyde Park and elsewhere on Royal occassions, and do so from pieces that last saw active service in WW1.

As TheOtherWiki will tell you, guards at Buckingham Palace haven't even been posted outside the Palace's gate since the late 1950s ''because'' of the annoying tourists (likely trying to imitate a scene from ''Series/ILoveLucy'', below) as a measure to prevent any bad incidents for the good of the guards and the safety of the tourists. However, the guards posted at St. James's Palace are still stationed in areas open to the public.

Another inaccuracy in the media is that often the guard is quite small, or at least only average height. In fact, the Brigade of Guards traditionally insists on recruits being at least six feet tall.

If you're really in a mood to play games with these guys, don't expect to come out unscathed. RealityIsUnrealistic; you have been warned.
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! Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* One WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes story involved Daffy Duck trying to get a British Royal Guard to laugh. He fails so very, very miserably. [[spoiler: Though, as a crazed Daffy said as he was being taken away, the guy was indeed laughing on the inside.]]
* One of Paul Coker's "The Shadow Knows ..." in ''Magazine/{{MAD}}'' had a bunch of tourists making silly faces posing next to a BRG. The shadow version of the guard was angrily chasing the frightened tourists away and waving his bayonet at them.
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[[folder:Commercials]]
* A [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZGSTfP7jfE Visa Check Card commercial]] plays with this trope by featuring a young man in jeans and a gray T-shirt standing perfectly still outside Buckingham Palace and staring while people ask him questions and try to figure out what he's staring at and otherwise leave him to contend with the elements of nature. At the end, a BritishRoyalGuard marches up, stands beside him and says, "Dry cleaners wouldn't take a check again, eh Nigel?" Nigel marches off and is later seen in formation with a group of traditionally dressed guards.
* There's a [[http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1387723567200 commercial]] for chain restaurant Red Robin, wherein a pair of tourists, a husband and wife, are trying to get the guard to react. The husband finally sings the first part of the Red Robin jingle, and the guard chimes in with the last part, "YUM!" The husband cackles with triumph.
* How do a group of kids get a guard to move? By tempting him with the delicious taste of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWh9R8phUBI Honeycomb Cereal of course.]]
* Blue Bunny Cadbury chocolate [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy8QnQi0t38 commercial]] has the family attracting the refrigerator guard's attention with ice cream.
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[[folder:Film]]
* Music/TheBeatles movie ''Film/{{Help}}'' features a small battalion of marching guardsmen [[InstantSedation immediately collapsing mid-march]] after inadvertently getting hit with knockout gas.
--> '''Ringo:''' It must be their tea break.
* In ''ShanghaiKnights'' Roy plays the part of the annoying tourist. After failing to provoke a reaction, he gives the guard a friendly pat on the shoulder, and receives a GroinAttack with the butt of the guard's rifle in return. Apparently, at least in that universe, [[SubvertedTrope the guards are allowed to react if you touch them]].
* ''[[AustinPowers Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me]]'' has a montage where Austin and Felicity get a royal guard to "participate" in a MotionlessMakeover, although the guards eventually do break their stillness to chase after Austin and Felicity at one point as well.
* ''Film/{{Garfield}}: A Tail Of Two Kitties'' has a bit with Odie [[UrineTrouble peeing on one of the statuesque guards]]. Unfortunately, this ''is'' enough for the guard to [[SubvertedTrope take notice and chase after the cat and dog]].
* In the spy comedy ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060121/ Arabesque]]'', there is a scene where the two protagonists (played by Gregory Peck and Sophia Loren) have some difficulties retrieving a McGuffin after it was stepped-on by a British Royal Guard.
* Played straight in ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars 2}}''.
* ''Film/PatriotGames'':
** When first seen while Jack Ryan and his family are touring London, the still guard trope is played with briefly; Ryan's eight-year-old daughter tries to get the attention of one of the guards by doing an improvised tap-dance in front of him. After getting no response, she salutes and says, "I'm impressed."
** The second the attack on Lord William Holmes begins, they quickly snap into action to protect him, and for a moment mistake Jack as being one of the terrorists. Thankfully for the Ryans, the attackers are all dead or incapacitated by that point and the guard in question just orders Jack to drop his gun.
--->'''Guard:''' Army! Drop it!
* The Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen direct-to-video release ''Winning London'' includes a scene where the twins and their friends attempt to make the guards laugh. It doesn't work. (Though the blooper reel does show that the guys playing the guards did break a few times.)
* ''Film/ARoyalNightOut'' parodies this, as the Buckingham Palace guards snap to attention whenever the princesses walk by - one of them even doing so while in the middle of reading a magazine.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/PatriotGames'' by Creator/TomClancy depicts the more serious side of them, as when the Prince of Wales is attacked by terrorists the guards come running. They almost stab our hero with their bayonets[[note]]It's also implied that his gun was loaded and he was ready to fire as well, but didn't because of the crowd[[/note]]. Later, Ryan is invited into the unit's private pub for a drink and given a bearskin (the tall, fancy hat) as a gift, in gratitude for his actions during the attack.
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[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* The ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' episode ''The Sign of Three'' features a guard as one of the clients. He is shown remaining absolutely still and expressionless while on duty, and changing with the appropriate theatrical stiff arm waving. Tourists take pictures with him and such, but none of them make an active attempt to bother or get a rise out of him. He does, however, [[spoiler: have a stalker who is using him as the test subject for a murder.]]
* The above picture comes from a ''Series/MrBean'' skit where the title character would do an assortment of increasingly pesky things to a guard in preparation for a posed photograph, all while the guard remains perfectly still. It all basically amounts to one hell of a MotionlessMakeover. Among the things Bean does to the guard, he polishes the trigger of his gun, trims the guard's mustache to resemble [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler's]], and decorates him with flowers. [[spoiler: At the end, the guard receives his orders to march to his next post, just before the picture could be taken.]]
* ''Series/ILoveLucy's'' European vacation story arc during the show's fifth season began in London where Lucy visited Buckingham Palace and missed out on seeing the Queen when she became preoccupied with desperately attempting to get a guard to crack a smile. [[spoiler: If one looks really closely, one can see the guard's lips curling up slightly.]] This scene originally aired four years before the Queen's Guard ceased maintaining posts outside Buckingham Palace and prior to several controversies between foreign tourists and the guards in RealLife.
** The exact same routine was copied verbatim in Creator/EthelMerman's television special ''Merman On Broadway''.
* In ''Series/{{Bones}}'', when Brennan and Booth go to London they suspect a palace guardsman of killing the VictimOfTheWeek, but it turns out he only beat the guy up for sleeping with his sister. While waiting for the guard to finish his tour Booth taunts him, knowing that he can't react. When Booth discovers the truth about the two, he apologizes to the guard who very subtly acknowledges Booth with his eyes.
* ''Series/DueSouth'':
** Constable Benton Fraser mimics these guards' "statuesque" reputation whenever he stands on guard duty at the Canadian Consulate, as does his junior, Constable Renfield Turnbull. Once, when Fraser is [[TimmyInAWell stuck in a (metaphorical) well]], he sends his half-wolf/half-dog Diefenbaker to get help; Dief patiently waits in front of Turnbull until his tour is up, at which point he finally barks the news about Fraser to him and Turnbull is able to respond.
** In one episode the Canadian ambassador and Meg Thatcher reflect that they could probably replace Turnbull with a waxwork dummy.
** Other episodes feature the local children trying to get whichever Mountie is standing as sentry to react to teasing and pranks. A good example of the latter has a kid eating a melting ice cream and dripping it onto Fraser's carefully spit-shined boots. It doesn't work, of course.
* Played mostly straight on an episode of ''Series/MarriedWithChildren''. Peggy knows the best way to get the guard to smile is to take one of Al's shoes and let the guard get a good whiff of the odor. Of course, he doesn't smile until she takes the shoe ''away''. He then passes out. This is after blonde, nubile Kelly has literally wrapped herself around him and gotten no response, even after telling him, "I'm stupid, too!"
* The opening of the second season of ''Series/ABitOfFryAndLaurie'' has the two comedians playing with a guard. The guard charges Laurie when he gets too close.
* Played with in an episode of ''Series/FullHouse'' when Joey and his GirlOfTheWeek were going to meet the Queen of England. Joey attempted to get a rise out of one, presumably failing. He turns away, and the guard then kicks him.
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[[folder: Music Videos]]
* The video for Fergie's "London Bridge", Fergie touches, caresses, flirts with and in general appears to be trying to get another sort of "rise" out of one of the Royal Guards.
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[[folder: Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' had a strip where sort-of newsman Skip Limekiller is filming a piece in front of one of the guards, and reels off the usual cliches, ending with something like "I could even suggest his mother is a hairy-faced yak." The guard immediately and indignantly replies.
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[[folder: Other Media]]
* Street performers in London use this getup as an alternative to the LivingStatue. [[IThoughtItMeant No]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_statue the other kind.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Maisy}}'' and her friends encounter one, an owl-person, in the ''My Friend Maisy'' picture book ''Maisy Goes to London'' and Maisy takes a photo. The narration describes the guard as very serious. "He doesn't even smile."
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[[folder:Theater]]
* In the Creator/GilbertAndSullivan musical ''Theatre/{{Iolanthe}}'', Private Willis is one of these, and he sings a solo while no one's looking.
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[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/KillingFloor's'' "London's Finest" character pack includes Captain Wiggins who is dressed as such a guard, although his uniform isn't exactly in the best shape.
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPHPd1EP_c8&t=1m55s E3 trailer]] for ''VideoGame/ZombiU'' features one such guardsman. He's lost his hat, but he's still using his [[BayonetYa bayonet]] to decapitate zombies with ease. And the box art features a zombie guardsman, hat included.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** The episode [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS15E4TheReginaMonologues "The Regina Monologues"]] sees the family vacation in London, where Homer crashes their car through the front gate at Buckingham Palace and into the Queen's carriage. Royal guards beat Homer senselessly but stop half-way through to observe the Changing of the Guard. Homer's beating continues at the hands of the next group of guards on duty.
** In [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS6E16BartVsAustralia Bart vs. Australia]] Homer mistakes a U.S. Marine posted outside the American Embassy for one of these guards:
---> '''Homer:''' Hey! Are you like one of those English guards who can't laugh or smile or anything? [makes noises and faces at him and gets punched in the face] Ow!
---> '''Marine:''' No, ''sir''! U.S. Marine Corps, ''sir''!
** And yet another episode sees Homer mistake Shaolin Monks, and a monk responds by ripping his heart out, [[AndShowItToYou showing it to him]], then putting it back in.
* ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway'' features an American couple teasing a guard in the [[MouseWorld sewer rat version]] of London.
* [[SubvertedTrope Subverted]] in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' where Peter believes the guard won't move. However, he does and responds to Peter, "Nope, that's [[LieBackAndThinkOfEngland only our women]]."
* The title characters of ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain'' once had to tip one over (CowTipping) to get into a club. The guard falls like a tree.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo'', the title character once confused a mall security cop for one of these, who as it turns out was just bored.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBremenAvenueExperience'', the "London Town" sequence in "Barrett's Story" includes a human BritishRoyalGuard and the GiantFootOfStomping from the TitleSequence of ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', Princess Celestia's Royal Guards act like this at times. In "A Bird in the Hoof" Rainbow Dash tries to get a couple of them to react, making small talk and funny faces. The guards don't respond to her at all, causing Rainbow to admit defeat (and boredom), noting that they're good - ''too'' good. They react instantly, however, when Fluttershy tries to get past them, until Twilight Sparkle vouches for her. At the end of the episode, Rainbow Dash convinces Philomena to tickle the guards' noses, finally getting them to laugh.
* ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'' features, in its final act, two such guards being ''easily beaten up by henchmen''. It's pretty insulting.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', Jade tries to attract the Royal Guard's attention (being the nearest authority figure) to report the Magisters' attack, but fails.
-->'''Jade''': Help! Bad guys are attacking my uncle! (''guard doesn't react'') What kind of proper authorities are you!?
* Seen at a glimpse in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Oojl_D3qEw a trailer]] for the ''WesternAnimation/AxeCop'' animated episode "Zombie Island... in Space", the Queen of "London, England" is flanked by a couple of guards, who don't move a muscle when she's captured by a giant zombie robot.
* The AnimatedAdaptation of ''WesternAnimation/MaxAndRuby'' has an episode in which the title characters visit "Bunningham Palace" and Max attempts to get a smile out of one of these, or their bunny counterpart anyway.
* ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget'' had an episode in England where Chief Quimby was posing as a guard to give Gadget his assignment.
* In "The Scarecrow" from ''WesternAnimation/TootAndPuddle'', Toot travels to London and encounters a couple of these. He tells one of them that he likes his costume, which gets him a wink, and he poses for a picture next to the guard. He later purchases an outfit that lets him dress up just like one and wears it to a costume party back home in Pocket Hollow. They later resurface in "It's a Mystery" in which one of them is Toot's friend, Ronald. He won't talk or otherwise respond while he's on duty, but Toot and Puddle later visit him at his home and he serves them a full English tea.
* One of the supporting characters in ''WesternAnimation/LittlePrincess'' is one, albeit one that is a CloudCuckoolander.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* In an incident [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQCSWPFnjbU caught on video]], an annoying tourist demonstrated exactly why you don't mess with the Queen's Guard: He stupidly grabs the guard by the shoulder, only to find himself immediately at the business end of a mounted bayonet in the hands of a very angry trained soldier yelling in his face. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said that the guard had an entirely appropriate reaction.
* On a lighter note, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSoJqdPi4Iw this guy]] posed for a photo with a royal guard at Buckingham Palace and engaged in some good-natured comic riffing, proving that it ''is'' possible to succeed in [[{{corpsing}} getting a guard to break up laughing]].
* Sometimes human nature takes its course and even the Queen's Guard aren't immune from [[http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/11534602/Buckingham-Palace-guard-slips-in-front-of-tourists.html slipping and falling]].
* During the Trooping of the Colour ceremony in 1981, an unhinged assailant fired what turned out to be blank rounds at Queen Elizabeth II, causing her horse to bolt and gallop away, giving her an uncomfortable minute or so in the saddle until she was able to calm and control her mount. The first two people to confront and capture the attacker were soldiers of the Scots Guards who were lining the parade route. Even though their rifles were unloaded for ceremonial duty, and they were confronting a clearly armed man, neither hesitated in literally defending the monarch's life. It is believed that both men were formally admonished for breaking ranks without permission - but their commanding officer apologised afterwards and shook both by the hand, then promoted them.
* in a different monarchy, the Royal Guards of the Norwegian King, the Hans Majestet Kongens Garde (HMKG), have a mascot - and honorary Colonel-In-Chief - called Sir Nils Olav II. (This King Penguin is also a Norwegian knight and has a statue erected in his honour, at the HMKG barracks near Oslo). The HMKG have an equally direct manner with anyone intruding on their king's peace and like their British counterparts, are fully trained in security and respond quickly to alerts. They also don't like anyone taking the piss while they are on ceremonials. Their active response company was the first part of the Norwegian Army to be on the scene on [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Norway_attacks the 22nd July attacks]] to support the civil police.
* Other nations have their equivalent of British Royal Guards. While France is a Republic and its version is technically a part of the Police Force and is even ''called'' the Republican Guard, the men who protect the President can trace their origins in pretty much unbroken line back to Napoleon's Imperial Guard. Their ceremonial uniforms, especially the cavalry troops, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Guard_(France)#/media/File:BastilleDay_FrenchRepublicanGuard_(pixinn.net).jpg certainly have a Napoleonic air to them]].
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