Yeomen of the Guard


Yeomen of the Guard
I. the Yeomen of the Guard n [pl]
a military unit of men who traditionally guard the British king or queen at certain ceremonies. It was created in 1485 for the ceremony in which Henry VII became king. Its members still wear a red uniform in the Tudor(1) style of that period, similar to that worn by Yeomen Warders, though the two groups are quite separate.
II. The Yeomen of the Guard
one of the operas by Gilbert and Sullivan (I). It is about a man who gets married just before he is to be executed in the Tower of London and is then told that he has been forgiven and will not be executed after all.

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▪ British military
      the personal bodyguard of the sovereign of England, in continuous existence since they were established by King Henry VII in 1485. They should not be confused with the yeomen warders of the Tower of London, often called “Beefeaters,” who, like the Yeomen of the Guard, wear Tudor costume. Originally, the Yeomen of the Guard were responsible for the king's safety on journeys at home or abroad and on the battlefield; within the precincts of his palaces, they guarded the entrances and tasted the king's food. In the 20th century the yeomen are called to their guardroom at St. James's Palace, London, only when required, a circumstance occurring normally only when the sovereign is performing certain ceremonial functions or receiving foreign heads of state. At the royal opening of Parliament, a party of yeomen, by custom since the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, search the vaults of the Palace of Westminster. Originally the guard numbered 50, but there are now 79 yeomen, chosen from the army, the marines, and the Royal Air Force, together with a captain (appointed by the government) and various other officers and members chosen for distinguished service from the army. Yeomanry was also the designation of the volunteer cavalry units that were initially raised for home defense in the 18th century, Some of these units fought in World War II in armoured and artillery formations.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • The Yeomen of the Guard — The opera is set in the Tower of London, during the 16th century, and is the darkest, and perhaps most emotionally engaging, of the Savoy Operas, ending with a broken hearted main character and two very reluctant engagements, rather than the… …   Wikipedia

  • the Yeomen of the Guard — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard — The Captain of the Queen s Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard is presently a UK government post usually held by the Government Deputy Chief Whip in the House of Lords. The present Captain is the Lord Davies of Oldham.=Captains of the Yeomen of… …   Wikipedia

  • Yeoman of the guard — Yeoman Yeo man, n.; pl. {Yeomen}. [OE. yoman, [yogh]eman, [yogh]oman; of uncertain origin; perhaps the first, syllable is akin to OFries. g[=a] district, region, G. gau, OHG. gewi, gouwi, Goth. gawi. [root]100.] [1913 Webster] 1. A common man, or …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • yeomanof the guard — yeoman of the guard n. pl. yeomen of the guard A member of a ceremonial guard attending the British sovereign and royal family and also guarding the Tower of London. * * * …   Universalium