Five soldiers whose duties included guarding Queen Elizabeth have been dismissed from the Army for failing a drugs test.
The Ministry of Defence confirmed that members of the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, had failed a routine drugs test carried out on their entire unit. A spokesperson would not discuss the substance involved, but it is believed to be a class A drug.
The Ministry of Defence representative said: “We can confirm that five members of King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, London, have provided positive samples following their unit’s recent testing as part of the Army’s drug testing programme. Internal administrative action has been taken against all five soldiers.
“Drug misuse in the Armed Forces will not be tolerated.
“Positive rates in the Army over the last three years average around 0.8 per cent, compared with more than seven per cent in civilian workplace drug testing programmes in the UK.”
It has been reported that two of the five were women and two were Iraq veterans.
The King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery’s duties – as part of the Household Troops – include the firing of royal salutes in Hyde Park on royal anniversaries and state occasions. It also provides a gun carriage and team of black horses for state and military funerals, though they were not directly responsible for the queen’s security.
For the past three weeks the unit has been guarding Buckingham Palace and other royal residences.