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[often treated as plural] Swiss mercenaries employed as a special guard, formerly by sovereigns of France, now only at the Vatican.
- ‘The father of six said he handed the letter to the Swiss guards outside the Pope's residence at the weekend.’
- ‘Outraged, Henry announced his plan to introduce his Swiss guards into the suburbs of the capital, an unusual and provocative act that was almost certain to enrage and frighten the urban population.’
- ‘The Pope was shorn of all his Temporal Power, with the exception of his palaces, diplomats, and Swiss guards.’
- ‘In 1789 the army consisted of household troops, which included the French and Swiss guards, regular forces and the militia of about 75,000.’
- ‘I joined a crowd wending its way past wooden barriers, metal detectors, and two Swiss guards giving perfunctory looks at the tickets and waving us on to the audience hall.’
- ‘Before 10 am a steady stream of cars carrying cardinals from around the globe arrived at the Vatican gates to be waved in by Swiss guards in their distinctive candy-striped uniforms.’
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