Change of Guard

Change of Guard
English Royal Guard
Detail of the hat
Typical costume

The Changing of the Guard is a spectacle that no tourist visiting the city of London can miss. It takes place in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace and, apart from being free, is something very curious to see given that it is not usual in other countries.

What is the change of guard

The changing of the guard is a parade that begins with the departure of the new guards from the barracks located in Wellington, which go on to the courtyard of the famous Buckinham Palace, the queen's habitual residence. In this journey you can see the march of the guards accompanied by music played by a band and lasts about five minutes.

The London Guard comes from five different British Army infantry: Scottish Guard, Irish Guard, Welsh Guard, Grenadier Guard and Coldstream Guard.

The music is military but also melodies more current that encourage the people who are witnessing the changing of the guard.

When the new guards arrive at the palace, the change of guard ceremony takes place whereby the old guard is located to the north and the new one to the south. When the change ends, after about 40 minutes of training, the old guard starts his way to the Wellington barracks

The red costumes of the guards that parade with the typical black London hats draw attention in the middle of the courtyard.

In these videos you will see how the royal guard change at the entrance of the Palace:

This other video shows how soldiers stay in parade:


Change of the guard schedule

If you want to go see the parade of the changing of the guard, although it starts at 11.30, we recommend you to be in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace before 10.45. In this way, you can take a better place (near the lattice of the palace).

Keep in mind that the days it rains or snows, obviously, there is no parade.

Although it is a must, do not form great expectations regarding the parade. It is usually a somewhat monotonous and a bit boring visit because you have to spend a lot of time waiting until it starts and then waiting for the 45 minutes it has. Is it curious to see? Yes and indeed it is one of the most famous attractions in London but do not expect to have fun jumps.

Recommendation not to lose it

The best way to see it is to book online the visit to the Palace with the change of guard included.

Book this visit

Also, this economic walking tour is a good option:

Walking tour


Location and visiting hours

Obviously, the changing of the guard takes place in the courtyard of Buckingham Palace. The nearest subway stop is Green Park.

The parade can be seen from Monday to Friday at 11.30 am but only in the months from May to July, both included. The rest of the year the change of guard is carried out on alternate days and you can check these days from the official website.

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Published by Last update 02/08/2022