Gold Stick in Waiting
At the coronation of King Charles III, the Princess Royal was asked to perform the role of Gold Stick in Waiting. This office has its origins in the royal attendants who acted as the monarch’s personal bodyguards, but the duties have been mainly ceremonial since the reign of Queen Victoria. The staff of office has a gold head, hence the name. As Colonel of The Blues and Royals, the Princess Royal holds the Gold Stick jointly with the Colonel of The Life Guards.
At the coronation of King George VI in 1937, the Gold Stick in Waiting was Field Marshal Sir William Birdwood. The Birdwood Collection in India Office Private Papers has a file with documents about his role at that coronation.
Birdwood's invitation to walk in the procession at the Coronation of George VI
Lead Curator, East India Company Records
Papers and tickets relating to the 1937 Coronation of George VI which Birdwood attended as Gold Stick in Waiting, British Library India Office Private Papers Mss Eur D686/9.