A popular TikTok video from early July shows a member of the Queen’s Guard yelling at a tourist who touched the reins of his horse. The guard was criticized on social media by TikToker Ethan (@ phigs), who said he would “never return to London” as a result of the incident.
A woman can be seen in the video clip standing next to a soldier on a large black horse outside London’s Buckingham Palace. Ethan reveals that the woman is his step-mom.
In order to get a good shot, Ethan’s stepmother moves up to the horse and the guards and eventually reaches out to grab the reins.
The horse shows signs of apparent agitation when she performs this, which makes the guard unhappy. Just as the photo is being taken, he shouts at the woman: “Stand back from the Queen’s lifeguard, don’t touch the reins!”
Ethan’s step-mom is startled and steps away from the horse in fright. Her stepson mentioned in the video’s caption: “We Will Never Return To London After This Incident.”
The video has generated a lot of buzzes since he posted it on TikTok, garnering over 4.7 million views and tens of thousands of comments.
Many people criticized Ethan’s stepmother for petting the guard’s horse in the comments section, pointing out that both the soldier and his animal were on duty.
“Serves her right you aren’t allowed to touch the guard,” one person wrote, while another added: “It’s not Disney they are working horses and serving army.”
“You do realise they are actual guards and not just tourist attractions,” a third chimed in.
An Army Spokesperson also gave an official response to the incident.
“We take all incidents like this seriously and want to ensure all those who visit Horse Guards have an enjoyable time,” they said per The Mirror.
They continued: “This area is particularly busy with tourists and on occasions, the soldiers undertaking Guard duty need to shout loudly to alert members of the public if they get too close to the horses, which happened in this case.
“We have signs placed alongside the horse boxes, stating that the horses bite and would always encourage the public not to get close to horses, as, after all, they are animals and can be unpredictable.”