The role of the Queen's Gurkha Orderly Officers: celebrating Her Majesty The Queen's Platinum Jubilee and the QGOOs

In 2022, Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service. Throughout her reign, the Queen's Gurkha Orderly Officers (QGOO) have assisted Her Majesty The Queen at various official ceremonies. We spoke to Pahar Trust Nepal supporter, Major Dudhprasad Gurung MVO, who served as one of two QGOOs in 2006/2007. He told us what the prestigious role involved at Buckingham Palace and other Royal residences, as well as the history of the QGOO which dates back to 1876 with Queen Victoria.

QGOO background.

The tradition of attendance on the Sovereign by QGOO from the Indian Army first begun by Queen Victoria in 1876. When King Edwards VII was crowned in 1901, there were six King's Indian Army Orderly Officers. The year following his coronation the number was reduced from six to four. From that time onwards until the outbreak of war in 1939, the four King's Orderly Officers were in attendance on the Sovereign. On 11 March 1954, Her Majesty The Queen reintroduced this practice by commanding that two Queen's Gurkha Officers be nominated annually as the QGOO and be required to attend upon Her Majesty at official ceremonies from time to time.

Her Majesty The Queen being escorted to the Ballroom with Major Dudhprasad Gurung MVO where the investiture ceremony takes place. Approximately 100 recipients normally receive their honours and awards from Her Majesty The Queen and the ceremony is attended by approximately 200 guests of the recipients.

Major Dudhprasad Gurung MVO:

“I was one of the Queen's Gurkha Orderly Officers (QGOO) for the year 2006/2007, appointed from The Queen's Gurkha Engineers. I was very fortunate to hold such a prestigious and unique appointment. Our duties and responsibilities are varied but primarily to attend investitures held at Buckingham Palace and other Royal residences as required. Normally there will be 24 such investitures held during the season. We are required to escort Her Majesty The Queen to and from the Ballroom where the investiture is held and to stand to either flank whilst awards are presented. In addition, we may be required to support the Sovereign on other state occasions as directed by the Royal Household. Finally on completion of our tenure Her Majesty The Queen will present the two QGOOs with a Member of Victorian Order (MVO) the presentation ceremony normally takes place in July.”

Major Dudhprasad Gurung MVO in the Ballroom at Buckingham Palace.