Pope removes head of Vatican’s Swiss Guards for being too strict

The commander of the Swiss Guard Daniel Rudolf Anrig (Getty Images)

It’s not easy being a member of the Swiss Guard. There’s the silly uniform to wear, and occasionally you might have to step in and risk your life to save the boss. But now the current Pontiff, “People’s Pope” Francis appears to have done them a favour then by letting their current commander go – he was a bit too strict.

In 1505, Pope Julius II turned to Switzerland for help when he needed new personal guards. Back then, before clocks and wristwatches were big business, the country only had manpower – often in the form of mercenaries – to offer.

Over 500 years later, and true to the Swiss Guard’s origins, it appears the commander, Colonel Daniel Rudolf Anrig, 42, is a bit of a hard nut. Too hard a nut, even, because softly-softly Pope Francis has given him his marching orders for being overly strict and autocratic.

Vatican insiders say the commander’s sacking on Wednesday came as a complete surprise, and so far the Holy See has provided no official explanation…