NEWS

Scots Guards Bring Colour To Monthly Ceremony

The ceremony began with a march from the Suva Flea Market to the State House entrance before the Fiji Police Force guard unit handed over duties to the RFMF unit.
26 May 2019 10:00
Scots Guards Bring Colour To Monthly Ceremony
Royal Scots Guards join the changing of the guard ceremony on May 25, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

There was a different order to the Changing of the Guard ceremony at State House, Suva, yesterday.

For the first time, the ceremony (usually involving soldiers from the Republic of Fiji Military Forces and officers of the Fiji Police Force) included 28 members of the British Army’s 1st Battalion Scots Guards – complete with a piper.

The ceremony began with a march from the Suva Flea Market to the State House entrance before the Fiji Police Force guard unit handed over duties to the RFMF unit.

Traffic in Suva stood still as Fijians got a glimpse of the Scots Guards, known to be part of the Foot Guards regiments for the British Army which have the special honour of guarding royal residences such as Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace.

Among the crowd was 26-year-old Navala native from Ba Samisoni Tadeo, who witnessed the ceremony for the first time.

Mr Tadeo, who was in Suva for a short visit, heard about the march and went to watch the ceremony.

“As soon as I found out about the march and the Scots Guards, I was excited as this was the first time ever to watch the change of guards,” he said.

“It is a very important event and to witness the Scots Guards from Britain is a plus because we don’t get to see them often and I only watch them on YouTube and television.”

The Foot Guards are the Regular Infantry regiments of the Household Division of the British Army. There have been six active regiments of foot guards and one reserve regiment, five of which still exist.

The five existing regiments are the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards.

The Scots Guards (SG) origins lie in the personal bodyguard of King Charles I of England and Scotland. Its lineage can be traced back to 1642, although it was only placed on the English Establishment (thus becoming part of what is now the British Army) in 1686.

It is the oldest formed Regiment in the Regular Army, more so than any other in the Household Brigade.

The Changing of the Guards ceremony takes place at the end of every month.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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