Buckingham Palace
The King's Guard are typically on duty outside of Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace, nearby many tourists. John Sibley/Reuters

Tourists visiting London recently were given a stern warning by an armed police officer after having found to be causing disturbances to a member of the King's Guard.

The King's Guard are tasked with protecting Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace and must do so whilst maintaining professionalism. This makes conversation and interaction with members of the public forbidden for them.

Footage of the largely talked about incident on TikTok saw what appeared to be American visitors in Central London trying to get the attention of the guard. The group, mainly consisting of young women, were seen to be laughing and yelling in the guard's direction.

The tourists were particularly keen to get to know the guard's real name and were seen shouting out a list of possible names, such as "Sherlock Holmes", "Rupert" and "Oliver". Some of the group had their phones out to record the incident, hoping to capture the moment the guard would potentially break from his royal duties and responds to them.

The gathering inevitably caused attention and eventually two armed British police officers entered the scene of the disturbance. One of the officers was seen to be in conversation with the King's Guard that was being heckled, seemingly checking in on how he was feeling, which prompted an enthusiastic reaction from the group of tourists.

American tourists vs royal guard
Screenshots taken from a TikTok video showing alleged US tourists being confronted by a UK officer

Soon, that one armed officer spoke to the tourists about why they should not be interruptive to the guard. He said to them: "These soldiers serve their country, they take their job seriously, they are responsible for protecting this facility, they are not an object of ridicule."

The officer continued by letting the tourists know that they were not welcomed to stay in the spot, stating: "I appreciate you're having fun, he's not having fun, he's got a long day, he has a lot of hours he's got to do. It is tiring, exhausting, and you take the p*** out of him. We do not appreciate that. I will ask you to leave the facility."

The group obeyed the guard's wishes as they soon dispersed from the site of the incident.

The response from the police officer was largely praised by TikTok users who came across the surfaced viral video, with one person commenting "Well done to that police officer" and another remarking "Officer handled this like a champ."

It is quite common for tourists to be unaware of the strict policy that the guards must follow and that they cannot interact closely with them. Last year, an incident involved a male tourist and a King's Guard on a horse, with the visitor moving close towards the horse and touching its reins.

This prompted a furious reaction from the guard, who suddenly shouted: "Do not touch the reins!", directly to the tourist, who seemed shellshocked at what had happened and apologised before slowly walking away.

Also, there was another previous incident where a woman was pushed out of the way by a guard after being directly in the way of him whilst he was patrolling.

Despite there being these harsh and unsympathetic reactions from members of the King's Guard, there are occasions where they are willing to be friendly with the public. Last summer, a guard noticed that an elderly couple were wearing their medals when taking a picture near to him and he moved closer towards them.

The guard even let the lady pat the nose of his horse, before soon shifting back to his original position and getting back to his role.

Additionally, a guard at Buckingham Palace was happy to move closer to YouTuber, CyclingMikey, when he and a boy he cares for with Down syndrome's, wanted to get up close and grab a photo opportunity with him.