An officer of the Queen’s Royal Guard was caught on film snorting a powder substance from the blade of a ceremonial sword while on duty, sparking an immediate inquiry following the video’s accidental release.
According to the Daily Mail, the Ministry of Defence has launched an investigation after one of the Queen’s guardsmen was filmed snorting a line of white powder off of a ceremonial sword while on duty inside of St James’ Palace.
Coldstream Guards Major James Coleby was filmed snorting the substance while in the Officers’ Mess during a late Monday evening drinking session. Captain Alex Ritchie was also seen in the video, chopping the substance up with a plastic card.
“How much? Two inches?” Ritchie inquired. “You want two inches of that? If you get rid of that I’ll be mightily impressed.”
The 30-second video -which was taken by a Lieutenant- was accidentally uploaded to a messaging service for personnel.
The MoD has since launched an investigation on the three officers, as all three were on guard duty at the time.
Coleby, who has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was the senior officer on duty at St James’ palace, whose 15-guard complement oversee the security of Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.
Colonel Richard Kemp of the British Army said that “This behavior is both highly worrying and acutely embarrassing for the British Army. Officers are there to set an example.”
Drinking on duty is not against regulation, although the ingestion of drugs is a criminal matter.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “The Army expects all personnel to stick to its high standards and any found to fall short are disciplined robustly. An investigation is underway.”
The Royal Military Police will also be conducting an independent investigation.
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