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Canadian Becomes First Woman to Lead Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Women were banned from combat roles in the British army until last year

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    Captain Megan Couto, front, makes history as she becomes the first woman to command the Queen's Guard at Buckingham Palace on June 26, 2017 in London.

    The troop guarding Buckingham Palace has its first female commander after Canada's Captain Megan Couto took over Monday, Reuters reported.

    The 24-year-old said she was honored to to lead her Canadian unit in the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the London palace, an event which regularly attracts thousands of tourists.

    Guard duties are normally carried out by a detachment of an elite British army division, but Couto's unit from the Canadian Light Infantry was granted the opportunity to conduct the ceremony while in London to mark the 150th anniversary of the process that created modern Canada.

    Because women were banned from combat roles in the British army until last year, no female infantry officers had led the changing of the guard before.