See the New Guard exchange duty with the Old Guard in the famous Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.
Changing the Guard: January to March 2017
From 16 January 2017 until March, Changing the Guard takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, instead of alternate days. The ceremony takes place at an earlier time, between 10:15am and 11:45am, with the actual changeover happening at 11am.
Changing the Guard: Usual Times
Changing the Guard, also known as Guard Mounting, takes place outside Buckingham Palace from 11.30am and lasts around 45mins. The Buckingham Palace Old Guard forms up in the palace’s forecourt from 11am and are joined by the St James’s Palace Old Guard at 11.15am. The New Guard then arrives from Wellington Barracks and takes over the responsibilities of the Old Guard in a formal ceremony accompanied by music.
The Guard that looks after Buckingham Palace is called The Queen's Guard and is made up of soldiers on active duty from the Household Division’s Foot Guards. The guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.
The ceremony is free to watch and takes place every day from April to July, and on alternate days from August to March, weather permitting. There is no ceremony on days when large events are held in the city centre.
This free event is very popular, so be sure to arrive early to secure a spot with a good view.
Changing the Guard also take place at Windsor Castle on certain days at 11am, and Changing of The Queen’s Life Guard takes place daily at Horse Guards Parade at 11am (10am on Sundays). Check the Household Division website for the full schedule of the ceremonies.
Book tickets to Buckingham Palace’s summer opening to step inside the palace itself and admire its lavish interiors during the summer months.