A remarkable group of people at the royal household, attested for the courts of all the Macedonian kingdoms, are the royal pages (basilikoi paides). They formed an age group consisting of youths between about their fourteenth and eighteenth years, recruited among the sons of nobles, including the king's own sons. The common Greek term is βασιλικοì (δὲ) παι̃δεϛ or simply παίδεϛ; or simply Curtius and Livy translate literally as regii pueri. Because it was their duty to guard the king, Alexander's pages are sometimes referred to as ‘bodyguards’.
The royal pages were educated and trained at court, where they had the task of waiting on the king and guarding him. It was originally an Argead institution, continued in the kingdoms of the Antigonids, Seleukids and Ptolemies. Berve, with characteristic disdain for the ‘oriental’ nature of the Hellenistic kingdoms, disputes the continuation of the institution because ‘es scheint [nicht] glaublich, dass diese eng makedonische, durchaus philippische Institution unverändert, gleichsam als Fremdkörper, in die neue Herrschaft übernommen ward’; but the distinct Macedonian character, I would argue, makes this all the more plausible. There is some evidence that a similar institution existed for girls at the Ptolemaic court – Polybios mentions ‘some young girls who had been the (i.e. who had grown up together) of Arsinoë’, and the Grand Procession of Ptolemy Philadelphos included 500 (‘young girls’) dressed in purple chitons with gold girdles.