Army

The Man In Charge Of An Iconic Royal Tradition

Forces TV has been given exclusive behind the scenes access to witness the key roles members of the armed forces hold inside the Royal...

Forces TV has been given exclusive behind the scenes access to witness the key roles members of the armed forces hold inside the Royal Household.
 
From a Grenadier Guard flying the flag above Royal palaces, to a former Navy Vice-Admiral in charge of all hospitality for official and private engagements – servicemen and women are involved at the heart of the monarchy.
 
Forces TV was granted this special access with the permission and kind support of Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of York, who is Patron of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) charity, which operates Forces TV and the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS).
 
 
 
When it comes to one of the more famous duties for the Head of State, few are more visible and well-known than flying the Royal Standard when Her Majesty is in residence.
 
Lance Sergeant Nathan Bowen is The Queen's Flag Sergeant and is in charge of a meticulously arranged collection of flags for palaces and cars, visits to different Home Nations and for significant Royal occasions.
 
 
He follows The Queen and flies the Standard to indicate when she is staying in Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, The Palace of Holyroodhouse and Balmoral Castle – raising and lowering it as she enters and leaves. He said:
"We all sign or swear the oath of allegiance to serve Her Majesty and her offices below and this is the place at the top of the tree to do just that."
"You cannot get any nearer to serving Her Majesty than being here physically serving Her Majesty."
 
However, it doesn't always go to plan:
"On Her Majesty's official birthday there was a 38 x 19 ft flag, which we call the anniversary flag, and I wanted to put that up. It got a bit windy and I had to grab the policeman, who was also on the roof looking at the crowds, and make sure I got myself a bit of a hand."
"Once the wind got it, it was really quite strong. Normally everything goes really quite smoothly!"