Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace to have first female captain

A Canadian soldier will make history today as the first female Captain of the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Captain Megan Couto, 24, will take up the prestigious role with her unit, The Second Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2PPCLI) - known as The Patricia's.

The role of Mounting the Queen's Guard usually falls to the British Army's Household Division, which is largely made up of male troops.

While women in the British Army have served on frontline duties in a variety of roles, until July last year they were banned from ground close combat roles so no female officer has served as Captain of the Queen's Guard.

The Government is opening up combat roles to women over a phased three-year term.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "I have always wanted roles in our armed forces to be determined by ability not gender.

"Women have already given exemplary service in recent conflicts, working in a variety of highly specialised and vital roles. By opening all combat roles to women, we will continue to build on these successes and improve the operational capability of our military."

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