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  • Attractions | Parliament and civic buildings
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Changing the Guard


Time Out says

The Changing of the Guard is about as British as gulping down a cup of tea or tucking into fish and chips. And like most things in the UK, it can be called off by inclement weather...

On average, it takes place four times a week at Buckingham Palace. In sum, a bunch of very smartly dressed chaps in busbies - tall bear-skin hats - hand over the responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace to a different set of smartly dressed chaps, usually made up of one of the five regiments of the Foot Guards from the Household Division.

Although that may sound slightly quirky, there’s nothing informal about this ceremony. Taking place at 11.30am sharp, the immaculately turned out guards perform precision drills accompanied by overtures from a Regimental Band or Corps of Drums.

As one of London’s most popular free attractions, it’s a pleasure to watch The Queen’s Guard perform their duties. All of the Guardsmen are in fact highly trained infantry soldiers, who in addition to their ceremonial responsibilities take up combat roles. 

If you want to get a good look on a fine day, be aware that you might need to be in place at Buckingham Palace no later than 10.30am as it can get rather crowded. Dates and times are subject to change so do check the official site before you visit.


Buckingham Palace
Tube: St James's Park
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.
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