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Changing the Guard, London
Fast Facts




Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace Rd
London SW1A 1AA
Historic Interest

Changing the Guard, Buckingham Palace

Photo by Alfredo De Simone

Changing the Guard may be pooh-poohed by world-weary travelers yet the pomp and ceremony of this royal ritual is a must see for most children. See bearskin-hatted soldiers dressed in deep red tunics. Hear sergeant majors call out orders. Listen to the foot stomping tunes of Regimental Bands. Follow the old guard from St. James Palace. Track the new guard from Wellington Barracks. View the parade in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Watch the new guard replace the old. Snap pictures of the guard mounting ceremony, as the changing of the guard is formally called.
Getting There
The guard mounting ceremony takes place in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. The nearest underground stations are Victoria, Green Park, St. James Park and Hyde Park Corner. Buses 2, 11, 16, 24, 36, 38, 44, 52, 73, 82, 148, 170, 211, 436, 507, C1, C2, and C10 all stop near Buckingham Palace as do the many hop-on and hop-off tour buses. Buckingham Palace is a pleasant 15-minute walk across St. James Park from Horse Guards Parade and the Palace of Westminster. Trafalgar Square is a 20-minute hike along The Mall. Of note, St. James Palace is at the far end of St. James Park. Wellington Barracks is on Birdcage Walk.
Hours & Times
Changing the Guard takes place daily May through July and on alternate days the remainder of the year. The ceremony is held at 11:30 weather permitting. The events leading up to the ceremony begin at 11:00. The old guard departs St. James Palace at 11:10. The new guard leaves Wellington Barracks at 11:25. Want a front row view? Arrive by 10:45.
Things to Keep in Mind
Guard mounting ceremonies are also held at Windsor Castle and Horse Guards Parade. Want a picture with a guardsman? Head to Horse Guards Parade or St. James Palace.
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