RAF News

RAF reservist selected to be member of Queen's body guard

A Royal Air Force reservist recently performed his first duty as a Yeoman of the Body Guard at an investiture at Buckingham Palace.

Sergeant Matthew Smith (49) is a member of the full-time training team with 2624 squadron, RAuxAF Regiment (Reserves), based at RAF Brize Norton.

Following selection in November 2019, he was sworn in as a member of the Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard (The BodyGuard) at a ceremony in Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal in January 2020. After the ceremony, he travelled by horse to Buckingham Palace to fulfil his first investiture, which was attended by HRH the Duke of Cambridge.

“I was chuffed to bits to be selected as a Yeoman. I have served many years in the military, but I was humbled to be selected as a member of the Queen’s Body Guard. It is an exciting opportunity, especially as later this year I will be part of the Yeomen inspected at Windsor Castle by Her Majesty, the Queen.”

Sergeant Matthew Smith

Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard

A common misconception is that the Yeoman Warders or Yeomen of the Guard (In Extraordinary) and The Yeomen of the Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard (The BodyGuard) are one and the same. Although both Corps is made up of former British servicemen and servicewomen that have served at least 22 years in the Army, Marines, Royal Air Force or Royal Navy, there are several differences in the duties and uniform of these Corps.

The BodyGuard are summoned for duty only on ceremonial occasions and live across the whole of the British Isles. Their Headquarters is at St. James's Palace and they have no duties at the Tower of London. Most of the Yeomen have a full-time second career outside of The Body Guard.

Matthew joined the Army in 1987 where he served with the Grenadier Guards and the Queen’s Company and ended his career in the Army as a Regimental Sergeant Major prior to joining the RAF Reserves in 2014.

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