The Queen’s Guard was seen trampling a child who wandered in their path in a viral video this week, sparking debate among social media users in the United Kingdom and beyond.
Queen’s Guard Knocked Over Child in Viral Video
The video, posted to TikTok on Tuesday, reportedly shows members of the royal guard patrolling their post at the historic Tower of London.
When a young boy gets in their way, one of the guards shouts “make way,” before striding right through him — knocking the child to the ground. Shocked bystanders audibly gasped, while the soldier casually stepped over the boy and continued on his march.
The young boy is seen standing back up, confused but apparently unhurt.
“My sister went to England; first day in,” the user captioned the clip. The post has since garnered millions of views on TikTok and was widely shared on social media in the days following.
It’s not clear if the uploader’s sister was traveling with the child, or if she simply witnessed the shocking episode during her trip. The clip was posted by an anonymous account that doesn’t appear to have uploaded anything before the viral Queen’s Guard video this week.
None of the individuals in the video, including the child and the soldiers, have been publicly identified.
Social Media Users React
As the video went viral on Tuesday and Wednesday, thousands of TikTok users expressed their thoughts in the comments section. Some said the guard, whose official duty is to protect Queen Elizabeth II and her family, had acted with needless cruelty toward a child who presented no danger.
“It wouldn’t kill the guard to walk around the child,” wrote one user. “If it’s adults in the way I understand, but if it’s a child you can make an exception.”
“‘It’s their job’ doesn’t mean they can just trample a child,” agreed another. “The Queen’s not going to die if he stepped around the kid, or warned him like a meter earlier.”
“That child isn’t dangerous[.] I get it’s their job, but it’s a child,” said a commenter. “There was no reason to do that.”
Others cracked jokes about the viral incident.
“So you’re telling me if I become a royal guard I can trample kids?” quipped one user.
“Actual footage of colonization,” wrote another.
Some wrote that the guard was only doing his job, and that kicking over a child was a necessary sacrifice to keep Her Majesty — who does not live in the Tower of London and was not there this week — safe from harm.
“‘Why didn’t he just go around?’ Because he’d lose his job,” argued one TikTok user. “He’s not there for the people, he’s there for the royal family.”
“I blame the parents, absolutely no awareness of their surroundings,” chimed in another.
“You can really tell who’s American in these comments sections,” opined a third commenter. “They’re not tourist attractions, they’re not there for you.”
British Government Issues Statement
The Ministry of Defense officially acknowledged the incident in a statement issued on Thursday.
“The Guardsmen on duty warned members of the public that a patrol was approaching but the child unfortunately ran out in front of the soldier unexpectedly,” the Ministry wrote. “The soldier tried to step over the child and continued on his duty.”
“Following the incident, the soldier checked on the child and was reassured that all was well,” officials claimed.
Queen’s Guard and Tourists Have a Long History
Despite the claims of some social media users, the royal guards in their iconic bearskin caps are a major draw for tourists visiting Great Britain.
Some tourists have tried to distract the famously stoic soldiers or get them to break protocol. Usually those who try to annoy the guards are ignored or instructed to stop, but it’s not unheard of for the soldiers to point their rifles — which are real and not ceremonial — at tourists who cross the line.
The viral TikTok clip isn’t the first instance of a civilian getting trampled by guardsmen. In 2015, a photographer was knocked to the ground by a royal guard unit that was marching on patrol. Just as was the case at the Tower of London, the guards shouted “make way” just as they shoved him.