So what’s it like to be a Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace…

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It’s the job of the Queen’s Guard to stand on duty outside Buckingham Palace, as well as the Queen’s other official residences.

Guardsman900They are famous for keeping a straight face, even when tourists try to distract them, they get caught in a rain shower, or an inquisitive insect comes to rest on their nose!

But perhaps the biggest challenge of all for a soldier in the Queen’s Guard is standing absolutely still for hours at a time – it’s harder than you might think.

Give it a go, and the chances are that you would find five minutes a struggle! Here’s how the professionals do it…

Adopt the right position
There’s an art to standing to attention. Stand straight and tall, chest lifted and shoulders squared. Rest your body weight equally on the balls and heels of your feet. Don’t lock your knees or it might affect your blood circulation.

Manage your mind
Your brain needs to stay active. Find something to keep it busy: run over song lyrics in your mind, perform mental arithmetic, play word games, invent fantasy football teams…

Manage your body
The body isn’t designed to keep this still for this long – even when you’re asleep you move continually. To help avoid cramp, squeeze your fingers and toes and rock back and forth on your feet (very slowly so nobody notices!)

Manage your time
Break the time up into smaller chunks. Twelve periods of 10 minutes are less of a mental challenge than two long hours.

> Visit the Life in the Armed Forces Homepage
> Download the free Life in the Armed Forces podcast from iTunes

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