Saudi Royal Guards’ uniform grabs Donald Trump’s attention

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US President Donald Trump was greeted during his first visit to Saudi Arabia and the Middle East by a public ceremony in which Saudi heritage was combined with the protocol for a head of state.

As the American president’s car entered the Royal Court gate, it was accompanied by Saudi cavalrymen wearing the official Saudi dress riding original Arabian horses.

The uniform of the Royal Guards usually attracts the attention of the guests during visits. It is also one of the features of the Kingdom that foreign media accompanying the presidents always records.

The US president also, while passing in front of the royal guards, listened to King Salman’s explanation of the distinguished uniform of the guards who stood in two lines in their striking uniform with the dagger and golden sword, on the two sides of the main passage through which King Salman and his guest passed.

The Royal Guards whose number might reach in some official ceremonies to more than 300, wear the official uniform comprising the Saudi white dress and the ghutra, and leather belt where the bullets are kept, with the golden dagger in the middle.

The reception ceremony performed by the royal guards symbolizes Saudi traditions and the protocols are part of welcoming the guest.

The Royal Guards exist in all regions of Saudi Arabia and take part in the official ceremonies and receptions of the Prince of the region, who is the head of the royal guards.

Royal Guards troops in each emirate number between 10 and 50.

Historical tradition

The Royal Guards or ‘Al-Lakhawiya’ as they are called in Arabic, is an ancient tradition mentioned during the reign of King Abdul Aziz, and was established in 1925, with military functions.

Later, there was a reformation and a group of them joined the princes in the regions.

While earlier they had multiple functions, the job description of this function was adopted by the Civil Service Bureau and became a post that citizens could apply for.

Rabih Ibn Nhat, the former head of the Royal Guards in the Emirate of Al-Qossaim, said that Royal Guards exist in every emirate and in the Royal Court, and they have a historical characteristic of Saudi Arabia.

Ibn Nahit said: “The multiple tasks of the royal guards are mainly related to welcome ceremonies, protection, as well which are multiple tasks.”

“The royal guard may be an envoy of the Prince, a reformer in some cases, carrying oral messages, carrying arms, and in the past he was one of the means used to bring in opponents and convicted ones in the emirate,” he added.

Ibn Nahit said there need not be any specific numbers of Royal Guards for ceremonies or protection duties.

During official foreign events, the number is usually 11 guards, including the head of the guards, while the number in the Royal Court to receive the presidents is 100 guards or even more.