Queen’s guard in London yells at Gulf tourist after face-touching incident
If 19th century stereotypes are your thing, the British definitely have a problem with physical contact. Even in controlled test environments, citizens of the UK have showed up the most uncomfortable in Europe when it comes to touching strangers.
In the video, the tourist can be seen posing for a selfie with a member of the iconic Guard, before being urged by a friend, off camera, to touch the soldier. But when his eager fingers reached forward, the infantryman shocked him: “you do not touch the British Guard!” he yells.
According to Lebanon’s Al Jadeed, which posted the footage and an accompanying Arabic-language article, the video is now being circulated on Arab social media sites.
The Queen’s Guard, always recognizable in their red jackets and tall, furry black hats, are responsible for guarding the royal family of the UK. They are famous for remaining impassive and straight-faced while on duty, but, as incidents like this show, do not take kindly to being touched without permission.
In a previous incident, a young Asian man received a similar response when he tried to touch the shoulder of a guard: “it is disappointing that someone shows a lack of respect for a member of the Queen’s protection,” a spokesperson said in response, as quoted by Al Jadeed. Multiple clips on YouTube show the guards reacting uncompromisingly to invasions of their personal space.
Of course, the guards are mandated to demand respect on the basis of a strict military hierarchy and the authority of a centuries old hereditary ruling structure. But for anyone who has suffered mockery, unwanted invasions of personal space or non-consensual public face-touching, the assertiveness of this elite force could be an inspiration.