Gold Stick and Silver Stick

Gold Stick and Silver Stick

The Gold Stick and the Silver Stick are bodyguard positions in the British Royal Household, personal attendants to the Sovereign on ceremonial occasions.

Now ceremonial, the office of "Gold Stick" dates from Tudor times, when two Officers were placed close to the Sovereign's person to protect him or her from danger. The Office is held jointly by the Colonels of the Life Guards and the Blues and Royals, Regiments of the Household Cavalry of the Household Division. The Gold Sticks, of whom one at any time is on duty as Gold Stick-in-Waiting, were originally entrusted with the personal safety of the Sovereign. Since the reign of Queen Victoria these Officers' duties have been mainly ceremonial; they attend all State occasions and take part in the processions for the Coronation and the State Opening of Parliament. On these occasions Gold Stick conveys the Sovereign's orders to the Household Cavalry. The name derives from the staff of office, which has a gold head.

The current Colonel of the Blues and Royals is HRH Princess Anne the Princess Royal, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth II.

The current Colonel of the Life Guards is General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank, former Chief of the Defence Staff.

The "Silver Stick" is the Commander Household Cavalry and holds the rank of Colonel. Silver Stick-in-Waiting is the deputy (assistant) to Gold Stick-in-Waiting, but there are occasions when Silver Stick only is summoned for duty—for example, on the arrival of a Head of State on a State Visit, or when two or more escorts of the Household Cavalry are found concurrently.

The office was created in 1678, and until 1950 was held by the lieutenant-colonels commanding the Household Cavalry regiments. Originally, only the Life Guards were included; in 1820, the Royal Horse Guards were added, and since 1969 the Blues and Royals have been included. They served by monthly rotation. Now the (Colonel) Commander Household Cavalry holds the office alone. Through the authority of the Gold Stick he has the detail of regiments and individuals to carry out royal duties. In general, the Silver Stick has charge of all duties for the Sovereign.vague|date=May 2008

There are separate Gold and Silver Sticks in Scotland, and these are the senior officers of the Sovereign's Bodyguard of the Royal Company of Archers.

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