Changing Of The Guard

Changing Of The Guard

The Traditional Ceremony Of London
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About Changing Of The Guard

Changing of the Guard ceremony is a formal event that takes place in London, in which a troop of soldiers that are currently protecting Buckingham Palace, handovers the responsibility to the new soldiers. The guards that are responsible for looking after Buckingham Palace are known as The Queen’s Guard, and they are constituted of the most active soldiers from the Household Division’s Foot Guard. You will find these guards dressed in conventional bearskin hats and red tunics.

The Changing of the Guard London ceremony commences with the formation of the Old Guard at the St. James’ Palace and Buckingham Palace’s forecourt between 10.30 am and 10.45 am. The New Guard arrives at the venue from Wellington Barracks to take charge of the responsibility of protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Palace. This formal ceremony is supported by music from the Regimental Band or Corps of Drums with pipers playing the tunes harmoniously.

Visitors can click photographs with the guards as a token of remembrance. However, you should be well-disciplined in front of the guards as they are most active even if the ceremony is over. Besides Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, Windsor Castle, and the Tower of London are other best venues to watch the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard with less crowd and people who are watching the ceremony with young children.

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Highlights Of The Changing Of The Guard

Changing Of The Guard
  • View the Changing of the Guard ceremony at four different venues in London, with Buckingham Palace being the most famous one.

  • Watch both the Old and New Guards march to the actual location and carry out the entire ceremonial process.

  • Listen to the musical support by the Regimental Band or Corps of Drums with pipers playing the tunes melodiously.

  • Click pictures with the guards at Buckingham Palace and Horse Guards Parade after the Changing of the Guard ceremony as a token of remembrance.

  • Watch the guards mounting on well-groomed horses with swords drawn and breastplates shining brightly in the sun in the Horse Guards Parade.

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Where To Watch Changing Of The Guard

The Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place at four different locations in London, with Buckingham Palace being the most famous one. You can watch the Changing of the Guard London at Windsor Castle on certain days at 11 am, Changing of the Queen’s Life Guard at Horse Guards Parade, and the Word ceremony at the Tower of London.

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Changing Of The Guard
Buckingham Palace

During the Changing of the Guard ceremony in Buckingham Palace, The Queen’s Guard gives away the responsibility of protecting St. James’ Palace and Buckingham Palace to the new officials. The ceremony starts with a detachment march from the old Guards. The music starts to play all around the palace, and the New Guard from the Regimental Band of Wellington Barracks takes the charge of protecting the palaces at 11 am. The entire ceremony of Changing of the Guard London lasts for about 45 minutes, and you can get the best view of the entire ceremony if you reach at least 30 minutes earlier than the official time.

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Changing Of The Guard
Horse Guards Parade

The Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Horse Guards Parade is held when The Queen’s Guards change the responsibility of protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’ Palace. This ceremony starts with the guards mounting on well-groomed horses with breastplates shining in the sun and swords drawn.

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, which includes a Squadron of the Blues and Royals, who wear red plumed helmets and blue tunics, and a Squadron of the Life Guards, who wear white plumed helmets and red tunics, presents The Queen’s Life Guard to the new Guards. Since the place experiences less crowd and there are no railings, this place is ideal for watching the Changing of the Guard London ceremony with young children and people who are looking for some remarkable pictures.

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Changing Of The Guard
Windsor Castle

The Changing of the Guard ceremony in Windsor Castle occurs in the picturesque surroundings of the ancient and largest occupied castle in the world. During this ceremony in Windsor Castle, the entire traffic is prohibited to move and the street gets transformed into a Parade Ground, where the residents and tourists stand to watch this ceremony of Changing of the Guard London.

Until the Queen is in the official residence, this ceremony is held in the Lower Ward, where the Old and New Guard enter and leave through the Henry VIII Gate. On the contrary, when the Queen is in the official residence, the Changing of the Guard ceremony occurs on the lawn of the Quadrangle on the exterior of the Royal Apartments, when the Guards march to the top of Castle Hill and enter through St. George’s Gate.

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Changing Of The Guard
Tower Of London

The responsibility of the Guards at the Tower of London is rotated every week, and you can witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony on your visit to the Tower of London. The Tower of London Guard consists of about one officer, 15 soldiers, and 6 NCOs, and they are posted sentries outside the Queen’s House and the Jewel House.

The ceremonial opening of the Changing of the Guard commences at 9 am when the Duty Yeoman Warder and a military pull open both the Byward and Middle Towers. The public is allowed to enter the Tower of London after the ceremony is over. After this, the soldiers march to the Tower of London to collect the Word at 3 pm.

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Know Before You Experience Changing Of The Guard

Essential Information
How To Reach

Location: Buckingham Palace: Memorial Flower Beds, Construction Hill, Spur Road, London SW1A 1AA, United Kingdom. The Windsor Castle: 114 Campden Hill Road, Greater London W8 7AR, United Kingdom. Horse Guards Parade: 13 Macclesfield Street, London W1D 5BR, United Kingdom. Tower of London: London EC3N 4AB, United Kingdom.

Timings: Buckingham Palace Forecourt: from 11 am (every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) The Windsor Castle: from 11 am (every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday)

Best Time to Experience: The Changing of the Guard ceremony starts at 10.45 am outside Buckingham Palace. Hence, it is the best time to experience this ceremony as the actual handover takes place at 11 am and lasts for only about 45 minutes. It is advisable to reach the location at least half an hour before the ceremony to avoid crowds and get a good place to view the entire ritual.

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Changing Of The Guard FAQs

What is the best time to experience Changing of the Guard?

The best time to experience Changing of the Guard London is from 10.45 am when the actual ceremony starts. The handover ceremony takes place at 11 am, and it generally lasts for about 45 minutes. It is advisable to reach at least half an hour before the actual time to avoid crowds and get a good place to view the ritual.

Does the changing of the guard ceremony happen every day?

No, the Changing of the Guard ceremony does not happen every day. It takes place every other day, but it may be subject to change. Hence, you should check the schedule of the ceremony on the official website for confirmed timings of Changing of the Guard. This ceremony does not occur on days when large events take place in the city center.

Is watching the changing of the guard ceremony free?

Yes, watching the Changing of the Guard ceremony is completely free of charge. You can just visit the venue and select your best location to view the entire ceremony.

What is the duration of the changing of the guard ceremony?

The duration of the Changing of the Guard ceremony is about 45 minutes. It starts at 10.45 am, but the actual handover takes place at 11 am. However, it is advisable to reach at least half an hour prior to the actual time so you can avoid crowds and get the best view possible.

Can we click photographs with the guards?

Yes, you can click photographs with the guards at the Changing of the Guard London. You must always remain disciplined in front of them, even while clicking pictures.

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