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Prince Sébastien takes part in the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

We are used to the idea of the guards protecting the Royal Family at Buckingham Palace, but this week has been slightly unusual – one of those guarding the palace is a foreign royal. Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg is currently with 1st Battalion Irish Guards stationed at Hounslow Barracks in London as a Troop Commander and has been Standard bearer on some of the occasions when the Battalion has mounted the guard. He is the fifth and youngest child of Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg who came over and were guests of Her Majesty to watch their son proudly.

This is not the first time that the 26-year-old has spent time in England. He spent part of his schooling at Ampleforth College, and between September 2016 and August 2017, he attended an officer training course at Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. After passing that course, he swore an oath as an officer of the Luxembourg Army in September 2017 – he is currently on secondment with the Irish Guards.

The Irish Guards are the youngest of the five guards Regiments within the Brigade of Guards; they were formed by Queen Victoria on the 1st April 1900. As you may expect, St Patrick’s Day is observed by the Irish Guards, and on that day, they are presented with Shamrocks by their Royal Colonel, the Duke of Cambridge.

The Luxembourg Army, which the Prince is an officer in, has been a volunteer force of just under 500 troops since 1967, though it does have a longer history dating back to the forming of a militia by Grand Duke William I in 1817. They were also involved in the Korean War. They are anything but just ceremonial soldiers and have provided members for roles through the Eurocorps and other combined forces in the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and relief work in Albania.