Don't let the bushy hat fool you -- the Queen's Guard aren't here to mess around.
A video uploaded to YouTube Monday shows a young man, apparently on a visit to Windsor Castle in the U.K., having a little fun with one of the famously stoic guards, mimicking his strut. But he crosses the line when he leans in and puts a hand on the guard's shoulder. That's a no-no.
"Step back from the Queen's Guard!" the soldier commands as he draws a large rifle on the man, who immediately complies.
The Queen's Guard are members of the British military who are tasked with protecting the royal residences. A guardsman who participated in a Reddit question-and-answer session last year pointed out that while the soldiers carry guns during their ceremonial patrols, the weapons only contain live ammunition if the guards are aware of an active threat.
However, he said, guardsmen are fully empowered to yell at members of the public who cross them.
"You are allowed to get them away by shouting warnings at them. If they fail to move away or start to act aggressively we present our bayonets... to remind them that we can do more harm than them. But usually the police are quick and remove trouble makers," he wrote. "People should not go and try to provoke the guards. It's just not respectful."
But when it comes to tourists, it seems like guards can take respect more easily than they can dish it out. In a video that went viral earlier this month, you can see a tourist with a camera getting "steamrolled" by a group of guards on the march.
That's not to say guardsmen won't goof off once in a while, but apparently it's got to be on their own terms.
H/T The Independent