Queen's Guards
The Queen's Guard, wearing their famous red and black uniforms, stand guard at Buckingham Palace.Getty Images

Amid mounting fears of lone wolf terrorist attacks, security officials are withdrawing the Queen's Royal Guards from high-profile public positions, including from outside palaces, and moving them to more secure positions.

The rising threat from Islamic State (Isis) militants has driven the authorities to move the guards to more secure positions behind gates and railings, and elite soldiers are being accompanied by armed police, instead of serving sentry duty alone.

A Metropolitan Police officer on duty at the Horse Guards Parade said: "Yes, we are a recent addition here. It's us guarding the Guards."

The measures to hold back the elite guards, known for their bearskin caps, are being referred to as a 'retreat', however, it is believed the move comes after the several many lone wolf attacks, including the killing of a sentry at the Canadian Parliament two months ago.

A Guards insider said, as reported by The Mail: "We're fully in favour as if an attack on a sentry can happen in Canada it can happen here. By moving behind the railings we've got a chance to respond, most likely saving lives.

"The changes were introduced in response to the Canadian attack and because there's been a sharp rise in people armed with mobile phones trying to wind up the sentries and make them lose their temper."

It has been confirmed that the royal guards' security has been altered at public sites, including ClarenceHouse, the official residence of Prince Charles, as well as at St. James's Palace, Windsor Castle and Horse Guards Parade.

Moving the guardsmen behind metal gates as in the Clarence House and into secluded courtyards, as in the St. James's Palace, the London residence of Princess Anne and Princess Beatrice, means tourists miss out on the opportunity to photograph next to one of London's most treasured tourist experiences.

Former Welsh guardsman and former Met police officer Terry O'Shea said: "Moving the Guardsmen back to a more secure area seems an honourable retreat given the danger posed by the terrorists. We have got to strike a balance between not compromising our traditions and protecting our soldiers.

"You could argue that there should be a defiant stand but how do you protect the soldiers on parade in a bright suit, shiny boots and a furry hat?"