Visiting a sibling at their new job is always exciting, but it must be even more thrilling when your little brother works for the Queen of England.
Sam, who has Down syndrome, got the chance of a lifetime when his brother, Jack, invited him to check out his new place of employment. Jack had joined the British Army a year prior, and Sam had not seen him since he began his duty as a member of the Queen’s Guard, charged with protecting the monarch at Windsor Castle.
Windsor Castle was built in the 11th century, and it’s the longest-occupied palace in all of Europe. Queen Elizabeth II divides her time between living at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, and wherever Her Majesty goes, the Queen’s Guard is there to protect Her.
As Sam walks onto the stunning grounds of the castle, he’s briefed by two other members of the Guard, Lt. Bragger and Sgt. Baggot-Moore. Both seem charmed by how excited Sam is to see his brother, and indeed, his enthusiasm is palpable as he checks out the classic environment that’s steeped in history all around him.
As they walk towards the area where Jack is stationed for the day, Lt. Bragger of the Coldstream Guards explains that Jack will not be able to speak or look at his brother during their visit, but reassured him that after Jack’s shift was over, they’d get together for a cup of tea.
A sentry will be on duty “at their post” for a two-hour period. Every 10 minutes, he comes to attention, slopes arms and does a march of 15 paces across the area of the post. Each sentry will do this four to five times before halting. He will then shoulder arms and stand at ease. Standing “easy” is not permitted whilst a sentry is at post. Orders for sentry duty read out before each 2 hour ‘tour of duty’, make it clear to each individual that: “you may not eat, sleep, smoke, stand easy, sit or lie down during your tour of duty.”
Many people think of the Queen’s Guard as a tourist attraction; they’re known for their stone-faced, stoic visage and they’re not allowed to speak or react to visitors. However, the guard is and always has been a fully functioning part of royal defenses.
Sam’s face lights up when he spots his brother in his full winter uniform (they wear red in the spring and summer, gray in the cooler months). True to his commanding officer’s words, Jack maintains his stock-still appearance when he spies his excited big brother, although he does do a quick “come to attention” to acknowledge Sam.
After seeing his brother on the job, Sam then gets to peek into the private guard’s chambers, something your average tourist never gets to witness. As soon as he sees Jack out of his uniform, though, Sam rushes towards him and jumps into his arms!
You can feel the brotherly love, and it’s a truly beautiful sight! Sam can now honestly say that his brother’s job is cooler than ours, and we’re okay with that.
Watch Sam visiting Jack at Windsor castle below, and be sure to share this very cool experience with your friends!