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Liam in his guard outfit
Liam
Sickle cell disease
I wish to be a guard at Buckingham Palace

Liam, who has been fighting sickle cell disease, wished to be a guard at Buckingham Palace.

Ten-year-old Liam from Bilston, near Wolverhampton wished to be a guard at Buckingham Palace and to meet the queen.

Wishgranter Dawn got straight onto organising his wish, but despite all her best efforts, she couldn’t get hold of the queen! But she did organise a truly unique wish and a day to remember with the help of The Coldstream Guards and the British Army.

Liam spent many years of his childhood living with sickle cell disease, which affects the red blood cells. He was often very tired and living with the condition could be very painful at times and meant he was at an increased risk of infection.

In 2016, Liam underwent a stem cell transplant. His recovery was slow but successful. He said, “Two years ago I was in hospital undergoing my transplant and two years later here I am now strong and fit in Buckingham Palace being a guard.”

Liam’s wish took place on one of the hottest days of the year! He arrived, dressed like a guard, complete with bearskin hat, alongside younger brother, Milan and his mum.

Liam and his brother Milan in bearskin hats and guard outfits saluting

He was met by Lt. Tom Melville from the Coldstream Guards at the Wellington Barracks, just moments away from Buckingham Palace.

Liam and Milan were treated like VIPs and were even allowed to try on the real bearskin hats worn by the guards.

The changing of the guard starts inside the grounds of the barracks and after watching this at close hand, Liam marched alongside Lt. Melville to the gates of Buckingham Palace.

The streets were lined with tourists and visitors and Liam said, “Walking through the crowd with an officer made me feel very special.”

Liam saluting next to Lt. Melville

Liam and his family were granted special access inside the gates of the Palace. They had the best view in the house and were able to watch the ceremony close up and with a personal commentary from Lt. Melville.

Afterwards, the family took the same route that the guards had marched, along the recognisable red-paved roads outside the Palace.

Liam said, “It’s like I’m retracing the Guard’s steps.” He felt like a VIP with all the visitors taking photos of him as he walked by.

Lots of guards marching out the gates of Buckingham Palace

Back at the barracks, Liam met the Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Jimmy Duggan who asked Liam to sign their special book for very important people, including Kings from other countries.

Liam signing the visitor book

Liam and his family then enjoyed lunch at the officer’s mess, hearing all about life as a Guard. Liam recalls, “My favourite part of the day was having lunch with the Garrison Commander and talking to him about how great the day has been so far.”

After lunch, Liam was presented with some special gifts from the Garrison Commander, a custom-made Guard’s waistcoat, with badges from the foot guard’s regiments and a Coldstream Guards flag.

Liam holding up his flag and waistcoat

Lt. Col. Jimmy Duggan said, “To look at Liam, I see a fine, healthy, young man who has clearly gone through a difficult time. He’s very confident, has a fabulous future ahead of him and I hope, a budding Guardsman in the future and he’s been a pleasure to host all day.”

At the end of his wish Liam said, “One day I hope the queen will appreciate me being a guard for her.”

Liam and his brother with a guard and Lt Melville

We’d like to say a special thank you to everyone at The Coldstream Guards and The British Army who helped to make Liam’s wish a wonderful reality.

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