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Photographer's Note

This was taken during the Changing of the Guards ceremony at one of the entrance gates (sorry, I didn't note which one) at Prague Castle.

The story of the uniforms of the Prague Castle Guards is an interesting one. Theodor Pistek II, a Hollywood costume designer who originally entered Czech film in 1962, is a long-time friend of Czech President Vaclav Havel, who commissioned new Castle Guard uniforms from Pistek after the country returned to democracy in 1989. These uniforms contain a number of historical emblems (associate legionnaire's emblem, legionnaire's buttons, epaulettes with designs of linden leaves and a type of indication of rank) symbolizing the connection of the Castle Guard with the legionnaires of World War I, who were the official guard of the first President of the Republic, T.G. Masaryk. As a point of interest, Pisktek received a U.S. Academy Award in 1984 for Best Costume Design for his costumes in the movie “Amadeus” and an Academy nomination in 1989 for “Valmont”.

The uniforms do seem quite theatrical, don’t they? Particularly the large pompoms [see a close-up in Workshop (poor resolution, my apologies but it was a super-crop)], which sway quite impressively as the soldiers stride forth (actually, they look like bell pulls to me). The uniforms are certainly colorful and ... umm ... impressive.

Technical: A bit of rotation to straighten my tendency to lean to the right, cropped and sharpened, and a distracting head in the archway in the background was cloned out.

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Additional Photos by Jackie Larson (jassy) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 134 W: 17 N: 308] (1065)
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