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Commander of The Queen’s Guards steps down

Major General George Norton yesterday completed his time as Major General commanding the Household Division. In that role, George Norton was responsible for all 7 regiments of The Queen’s Guards (including the foot guards and the Household Cavalry).

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Yesterday’s court circular also said that Her Majesty ‘conferred upon him the honour of Knighthood and invested him with the Insignia of a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order’. As a result, he is now Sir George Norton.

Sir George was an officer in the Grenadier Guards before being made Major General commanding the Household Division. His successor is Major-General Edward Alexander Smyth-Osbourne who was an officer in the Lifeguards (one of the two regiments of the Household Cavalry). He is currently a CBE.  From July 2013, he will be Deputy Commander NATO Rapid Deployment Corps in Naples.

Sir George had been Major General since 2011 and was seen at The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June 2012 when he issued the orders to the Irish Guards who performed a special feu de joie for Her Majesty on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.

The Queen’s Guards are responsible in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police for security of the Royal Residences and are based at Wellington Barracks in central London and also Victoria Barracks near Windsor Castle.

Coincidentally, Her Majesty today presented new colours to Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards at Buckingham Palace where she also inspected The Queen’s Company of the Grenadier Guards (the company of which she is personally Company Commander) and held a garden party for the Grenadier Guards association.

photo credit: RS Deakin via photopin cc

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