Photo Credit: Photo by Luke Ow
Tourist Yelled At By Queen Elizabeth's Guard For Touching His Horse And People Are Divided
A woman got quite startled after one of Queen Elizabeth II’s guards yelled at her for touching his horse. The TikTok video posted by the tourist’s stepson has been viewed 4.2 million times and counting.
Opinion is divided. Some say the guard was within his rights to tell the woman off, while others say he could have been more tactful.
Wherever you stand on the monarchy, there’s no question that the Windsors are a major cultural symbol in Britain. You’ll find their likeness on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs, and royal residences like Buckingham Palace are a treat for tourists. Queen Elizabeth II is especially popular, and she’s the longest reigning monarch in British history. She’s also the second-longest monarch in world history, behind France’s King Louis XIV, who ruled for over 72 years. Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 70 years and shows no sign of slowing down at 96 years old.
For those unaccustomed to royalty, there’s understandable curiosity and awe. Many Americans are fascinated by the Windsors and the escapism they provide. They mourned the untimely death of Princess Diana in 1997. They tuned in by the millions when Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011 and Prince Harry married Meghan Markle in 2018.
What some don’t know is that there’s certain protocols when interacting with the royals themselves or with the Queen’s guards. One rule should be obvious even for those who aren’t royal- don’t touch without permission.
The woman in the TikTok video learned this the hard way. The issue wasn’t that she wanted to take a photo with one of the Queen’s guards. Plenty of tourists do that and the guards are used to it. But she took it upon herself to grab the reins and this made both the horse and the rider agitated.
The guard shouted with everything in him: “stand back from the Queen’s lifeguard! Don’t touch the reins!” The woman scurried away and her stepson who posted the video described the guard as “an angry little man.” He also vowed never to visit London again.
While some agreed with the stepson, others shrugged.
“It’s not Disney, they are working horses and serving army,” wrote one person.
“Would you grab the steering wheel if someone were driving?” asked another.
Natalie Oliveri, a reporter with 9 Honey, shed some light on the issue.
“I would speculate the woman was reprimanded so forcefully by the guard over concerns for her own safety because approaching the horse as a stranger may spook the animal,” she said. “And if the horse became frightened it may have lashed out and hurt the woman and in turn, its rider. As a rule, you should never attempt to touch an animal when it is on duty – be that a horse, a police dog or assistance animal.