One of Queen Elizabeth’s royal bodyguards, known for their statuesque stoicism, was arrested Tuesday on charges of ketamine and cocaine possession.
A private in the ranks of the Coldstream Guards — yes, the ones with the iconic big furry hats — was suspected after a white, powdery substance was found in a bathroom at St. James’s Palace, where the guard had been on duty, the Sun reported.
The royal residence in Westminster is known as a ceremonial meeting place for the royal court as well as where princesses Anne, Beatrice and Alexandra are known to stay when in London.
Police who searched the soldier’s barracks near Buckingham Palace reportedly found five bags of cocaine and four of ketamine, a hallucinogenic anesthetic classified as a Schedule III substance without a prescription here in the US. The recently Food and Drug Administration-approved drug is also used by some as treatment for depression.
The guard has been officially removed from royal duties, the Royal Military Police told Daily Mail.
“We can confirm that a soldier from the Coldstream Guards has been arrested for a suspected drug offense by the Royal Military Police,” they said. “It would be inappropriate to comment further.”
The Coldstream Guards, the oldest regiment of the British Army, originated in Scotland in 1650 during the English Civil War, and trained for battle on foot.
Coldstreamers, as they’re called, are famous for their spiffy uniforms, and especially the tall bearskin hat. Historically, the caps were worn to make troops appear larger and more intimidating, since they were the ones engaging in hand-to-hand combat. It is said that they adopted the practice following the Battle of Waterloo, where they defeated an elite guard for Napoleon, and absconded with their bearskin hats as souvenir.
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