In America we’re all brought up to think that the guards in the funny outfits standing outside Buckingham Palace protecting their Queen (or King) can’t flinch a muscle no matter how much torment is hurled their way via tourists and angst-ridden teens.

While there’s truth to this, there’s also a caveat: if they’re in a dire situation they’re actually instructed to yell a few lines like “stand back from the guard” and “make way for the Queen’s guard”. This would follow the demonstrative act of “stamping”, which is what the sentry does in the video above. What he doesn’t follow through on, however, are his lines. More of an improv guy. Although you can’t say what he did wasn’t effective.

Two other things you might not know about the UK’s famous sentinels:

  • They are not ceremonial — they’re “fully-operational soldiers”.
  • In the summer, they don the red tunics, while in the winter and fall they wear the gray great coats, like the guard shown above.