Changing Sentries Outside Buckingham Palace Postcard

This week’s postcard is another fine Harry Payne painting, this time depicting the relief of a guard of Grenadier Guards by members of the Coldstream Guards:

This postcard is another in the excellent set of Tuck’s Oilette cards, and as usual has a very brief piece of background text on the rear:

The painting was probably produced in the Edwardian period and although the men are wearing the older Slade Wallace leather equipment, this was to remain in service for decades to come for ceremonial Guards units. The rifles however seem to be long Lee patterns, with sword bayonets attached:

Guards Regiments have a number of distinctive dress embelishments that allow them to be identified with relative ease. As well as the grouping of their buttons, one of the easiest ways to differentiate different regiments when in their full dress uniform is the plume on the bearskin hat. Here the Coldstreams have a red plume on the right:

Whilst the Grenadiers have a white plume on the left:

Further colours are used to identify the Scots, Irish and Welsh Guards.

One of my favourite poems as a small child was by AA Milne and takes as its inspiration the changing of the guard:

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
Alice is marrying one of the guard.
“A soldier’s life is terrible hard,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We saw a guard in a sentry-box.
“One of the sergeants looks after their socks,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
We looked for the King, but he never came.
“Well, God take care of him, all the same,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
They’ve great big parties inside the grounds.
“I wouldn’t be King for a hundred pounds,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
A face looked out, but it wasn’t the King’s.
“He’s much too busy a-signing things,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
“Do you think the King knows all about me?”
“Sure to, dear, but it’s time for tea,”
                                                                    Says Alice.

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