The Yeomen of the Guard

The Yeomen of The Guard accompany the Sovereign at the Royal Maundy Service.

Originally they were the Sovereigns bodyguard, today they just carry out a ceremonial role.

They were created in Henry VIIs reign in 1485 at the battle of Bosworth where he defeated Richard III.

When The Yeomen of The Guard were created there were 50. Today there are 73 Yeomen (2005), all of whom were officers or sergeants of the british services.

The dress worn by The Yeomen of the Guard is very striking - scarlet and gold, and is the same as it was in Tudor times.

The uniform consists of a royal red tunic with purple facings and stripes with gold lace ornaments. The uniform has a red cross belt, red knee breeches and red stockings. They wear a flat hat and black shoes with red, white and blue rosettes. Gold embroidered emblems are on the back and front of the coat. These consist of a Tudor crown with a Lancastrian rose, shamrock and the thistle, the motto "Dieu et mon Droit" and the initials of the reigning sovereign..

The red cross belt distinguishes the Yeomen of The Guard from The Yeomen Warders.

The Yeomen of The Guard are often reffered to as "Beefeaters". The origin of this term is uncertain.

There other most famous duty is to search the cellars of Westminster Palace prior to the state opening of parliament. This tradition goes back to the Gunpowder plot of 1605 when Guy Fawkes attempted to blow up parliament.