Not to be sniffed at: Queen’s Guards filmed ‘snorting powder’ off a sword in St. James’s Palace

© Andrew Winning
Military officials are investigating after mobile phone footage emerged allegedly showing two officers from the Queen’s elite personal guard snorting a powdery substance thought to be cocaine off a ceremonial sword in St. James’s Palace.

The incident, which involved a major and a captain from the Coldstream Guards, reportedly took place at the royal residence where the pair were among the most senior officers guarding the Queen.

The men have been identified by the Mirror as Major James Coleby, a decorated Afghanistan and Iraq veteran who once escorted French president Francois Hollande on a troop inspection, and Captain Alex Ritchie.

The Coldstream Guards are one of the oldest and poshest regiments in the British Army and, while on Queen’s Guard, they are charged with the defense of the Monarch. Their battle honors include Waterloo, Sevastopol, and the Somme.

The 30 second video shows Ritchie racking up a line of a powdery substance on a ceremonial sword before asking Colesby, who is swaying nearby: “How much? Two inches? You want two inches of that? If you get rid of that I’ll be mightily impressed.

The smiling Colesby then places a finger over one nostril, hunches down and snorts the substance.

A well-spoken young woman who briefly appears in the video is heard baying from the sidelines: “No, don’t do it, for the love of God!

The incident apparently took place at an officer’s mess event around one week ago.

Boozy mess parties have become a sore point in recent months, after ten fire engines were summoned to extinguish a blaze at a military accommodation block in July after two newly-graduated cavalry officers accidentally set it ablaze while firing flares at each other from hijacked kayaks in an outdoor pool.

The fire occurred at Allenby Barracks in Bovington following a boozy graduation ceremony for trainee tank commanders, who reportedly got into kayaks in the camp’s outdoor pool and set about dueling with rescue flare guns.

One flare appeared to have penetrated a seven-story accommodation block, setting it alight and causing severe damage, but no injuries.

One army source told Forces TV that whoever started the fire “is a legend and deserves some kind of reward.

Commenting on the alleged drug taking at St. James’s Palace, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) 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,” they added.