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All change for the Guard

Almudaina Palace ceremony

They're changing guard at Almudaina palace where on the last Saturday of the month the ceremonial relief of the guards takes place. Last Saturday provided a big surprise when January's changeover (I don't think the soldiers have actually been on guard there all month) saw new uniforms for the army.

I'll explain; for the last ten years the soldiers on duty with their muskets, fifes and drums have been wearing a blue three piece uniform (photo) originally worn in 1808 by the Regiment of Volunteers of Palma during the war against the invading French under Napoleon.

On the last Saturday of the month (not in July and August) at 12:00 precisely they've performed the ceremonial changing of the guard in the square between Palma Cathedral and the Almudaina Palace.

Last Saturday the soldiers (yes, they're real soldiers, not actors) of Spain's Palma 47 Infantry Regiment appeared in brand new uniforms (video)with a complete colour change. The new gear consists of a white coat, red pants, white waistcoat, black bowtie, three-cornered hat and double harness with cartridge belt and tajhalí (no idea what that is!)

This was worn during the capture of Menorca from the English by Spanish and French forces in 1782 and perfectly recreates the military atmosphere of the 18th century.

The nice thing about the ceremony is that despite it harking back to a time hundreds of years ago, the soldiers on parade are available after the change for photos and selfies with the crowd.