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We had walked up to the Old City area in Stockholm to tour the Nobel Museum. But when a troupe of guards appeared marching in unison, I dropped everything to capture a glimpse of the ceremony. Here a young male officer, a guardsman, is facing a young female guard, a guardswoman, overseeing the process. Most likely, the sight would have been deemed quite unusual a few decades ago — before females were admitted into the military. I would have loved to understand Swedish and to know the directives (or admonishments) being delivered.

The website of the Swedish Armed Forces reports: "the Royal Guards Ceremony at the Royal Palace of Stockholm lasts about 40 minutes, starts at 12:15 pm in the palace outer courtyard on weekdays (and at 1:15 pm on Sundays)... It is held every day from April 23 to August 31."

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