Changing the Guard

  • Attractions
  • Parliament and civic buildings
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© UK MOD Crown Copyright 2011
St James's Park Free
At 11am (10am on Sundays) the St James Palace detachment of the Old Guard forms up in Friary Court before marching off via Stable Yard Gate and along The Mall to join up with the rest of the Old Guard waiting in the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. At 11.30am (10.30am Sun) the New Guard, led by their Regimental Band and Corps of Drums, marches into the Palace Forecourt, having left the barracks in Birdcage Walk a few minutes earlier (they form up there from about 11am, 10am Sun). After a symbolic handing-over of the Palace keys, the posting of sentries and other military formalities, the Old Guard departs for the barracks in Birdcage Walk and the St James Palace detachment of the New Guard marches off along The Mall to take up their posts. From August 1 to March a 48-hour guard takes place (odd days Aug, Nov, Dec, Feb; even days Sep, Oct, Jan).
Venue name: Changing the Guard
Address: Buckingham Palace
London
SW1A 1AA
Opening hours: 11.30am daily Apr-July; on alternate days Aug-Mar. Not in very bad weather or on certain ceremonial days so always check the schedule before making a special trip.
Transport: Tube: St James's Park

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Tom
moderatorStaff Writer

It doesn't get much more British than this. And whilst the tourists will rightly lap this sort of traditional pomp and ceremony up for hours, I'm convinced even the hardy locals can't resist stopping for a 5 minute peak at the changing of the guard - possibly hoping that they'll be there to see a guard faint, or start to do a bout of moonwalking between sentry posts. The self discipline the guards show whilst being photographed and treated like specimens in a zoo is quite remarkable; just try standing totally still for half an hour, it's painful stuff at the best of times without hordes of people watching your every non-move.

Maria Blazevich

This is efficient and informative page! I'm ecstatic to see London.never been and hope it I s ad lovely ad you reprt.Good job! Thanks! FROM USA

leslie

can't wait going to london this december and in new year! for sure going to visit this place and changing the guards

Kate Rushton

Nothing is more quintessentially British than changing of the guards. When I was a little kid, I used to love watching this on a Sunday. Now I am older, it brings back fond memories. Best of all - it is FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!1