An imperial guard or palace guard is a special group of troops (or a member thereof) of an empire, typically closely associated directly with the Emperor or Empress. Usually these troops embody a more elite status than other imperial forces, including the regular armed forces, and maintain special rights, privileges and traditions.
Because the head of state often wishes to be protected by the best soldiers available, their numbers and organisation may be expanded to carry out additional tasks. Napoleon's Imperial Guard is an example of this. Some empires maintained guard units, such as the British Empire, which still exist.
In the post-colonial period, the term has been used colloquially and derisively to describe the staff of a person, usually a politician or corporate executive officer, that acts to prevent direct communication with the person.
Famous quotes containing the words imperial and/or guard:
“When your fathers fixed the place of GOD,
And settled all the inconvenient saints,
Apostles, martyrs, in a kind of Whipsnade,
Then they could set about imperial expansion
Accompanied by industrial development.”
—T.S. (Thomas Stearns)
“Harsh necessity, and the newness of my kingdom, force me to do such things and to guard my frontiers everywhere.”
—Virgil [Publius Vergilius Maro] (7019 B.C.)