Gurkhas have been preparing for Queen's Guard.
Gurkhas

WATCH: Gurkhas Train Ahead Of Guard Duties

Each soldier on parade will carry a kukri, the traditional Gurkha knife, instead of a bayonet.

Gurkhas have been preparing for Queen's Guard.

Soldiers from 1 Squadron The Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment have been preparing for guard duties in May. 

Gurkhas had not provided the Queen's Guard since 2015, when they marked 200 years of service to the British crown.

That was until the Guard's Division, who usually carry out the role, stepped aside in February to allow The Queen's Gurkha Engineers to take over

Come May, it will be 1 Squadron who will take over the role.

 

To ensure they are ready, the Gurkhas have been put through their paces on the parade ground in Aldershot. 

"In London we'll have responsibility for Buckingham Palace, St James's Palace and the Tower of London but we'll also be doing duties at Windsor Castle" explained Major Nick Heppenstall, Officer Commanding 1 Squadron. 

Providing the Queen's Guard usually falls to the Guard's Division (Picture: PA).
Providing the Queen's Guard usually falls to the Guard's Division (Picture: PA).

For ceremonial guard duty at the royal palaces, perfection is a must and it has taken time for the soldiers to learn the range of commands. 

"Day one, there was loads of information," said drill instructor Corporal Sagar Limbu.

"Drilling is hard - it's all about discipline - putting yourself into discipline and putting everyone else into discipline.

"It looks easy [from the outside] but when it comes to it, it's hard.

"The thing is, as a soldier, you have to keep carrying on - 'keep calm and carry on' I'd say to them!"

The Gurkhas are introducing some of their own traditions to the role.

Each soldier on parade will carry a kukri, a traditional Gurkha knife, instead of a bayonet.

For many members of 1 Squadron, the chance to take part in royal ceremonial guard duty is a proud moment for them and their families. 

"They [parents] are very proud of me," Private Ashok Tamang said.

"I used to tell them that I will be joining the British Army and I will guard Queen Elizabeth II and now here I am.

"They are feeling really proud and they say 'well done my son'!" 

Each Gurkha will carry Khukuri.
Each Gurkha will carry Khukuri.

1 Squadron is currently two weeks into their training. They have until 2 May to perfect their drills, when they will then go to Wellington Barracks for an inspection from the General Officer Commanding for London district, who will decide if they are ready.

If all goes well, just three days later they will be Guard Mounting at Buckingham Palace for the first time.

With five weeks to go, Corporal Limbu said: "We are getting there!"