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> Read Craig’s review I’ve seen this ceremony myself. Check out my London blog for a full review, with photos and a video. Feel free to ask me a question about this event
Strolling down the to Buckingham Palace and watching the 'Changing the Guard' ceremony is one of the must-do events in every tourist's stay.
There are actually two detachments of the Guard that need changing -- the one at Buckingham Palace and one at St. James's Palace, a short walk down The Mall. The St. James's Palace detachment starts first, by marching to the Palace at 11.13 AM (a few will remain behind, until they are replaced by the New Guard). They will then form up with the Buckingham Palace detachment on the forecourt. Meanwhile, the New Guard will march from Wellington Barracks in Birdcage Walk at 11.27 AM, ready for the ceremony to start at 11.30 AM. (If you want to, you can go and stand outside the iron railings of Wellington Barracks before the ceremony starts, and watch the new guard being put through their paces.)
The ceremonial change-over will then take place on Buckingham Palace forecourt, and the replacements will head towards St. James's Palace at 11.40 AM -- which then frees up the contingent that was left behind to head to Buckingham Palace at 11.55 AM. Finally, the Old Guard will leave the Palace at 12.10 and head back to Wellington Barracks, followed by the St. James's Palace detachment at 12.15. Phew! The whole event is accompanied by a military band.
If you want to bag yourself a spot right up against the Palace's railings, then we recommend getting there no later than 10 AM. If you find that it is already full, then try and get a spot on the Queen Victoria Memorial. If that doesn't work, then stand on the linking road between Birdcage Walk and the palace, as the Wellington Barracks band will march straight past you playing their tunes.
Remember to have a read of Craig's London blog before you go, so you can get a feel of what the ceremony is like.
Note: You might also see some other soldiers marching down The Mall whilst the ceremony is going on -- these are taking part in a similar Changing the Guard ceremony at Horse Guards. You might also enjoy the Dismounting Ceremony at Horse Guards, and the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.
Buckingham Palace events in London
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BDavis – “We just had to go and see the famous Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, but I cant help but feel a little bit disappointed. Because it was so busy! The crowds were unbelievable, even for October which isn't tourist season.We arrived a good hour early and already the front of the palace was busy with people about 3 or 4 deep. And we just didnt fancy standing there with everyone inevitably crowding at our backs as well. So we decided to take up a position on the side of the road by the big memorial. Although that did give us a spelndid view of the marching bands marching towards the palace, unfortunately we couldnt see anything once they disappeared inside, so we ended up leaving at that point.I am sure that the parade is fantastic if you arrive early enough to get a good spot”
Talk about ‘Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace’
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If you enjoy Changing the Guard ceremonies then you might like these other London events…
Changing the Guard at Horse Guards – Every dayChanging the Guard at Horse Guards is similar to the ceremony at Buckingham Palace, but is usually a lot less crowded.
4 O’Clock Parade, or Dismounting Ceremony – Every dayThe Dismounting Ceremony (or 4 O'Clock Parade) is a short ceremony that takes place every day at the Horse Guards.
Buckingham Palace Summer Opening – 23rd July to 2nd October 2016Step inside Buckingham Palace and see the lavishly decorated State Rooms, and paintings from the Royal Collection.
Buckingham Palace Tour, with Garden Highlights – 23rd July to 2nd October 2016Did you know that you can combine a visit to the Buckingham Palace Summer Opening with a tour of the gardens as well?
Forgotten Fighters: First World War at Sea – 2nd August 2014 to 31st December 2017"Forgotten Fighters" will tell the story of the people who fought the First World War at sea, both above and below the waves.
Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London – Every nightThe Ceremony of the Keys is over 700 years old, and represents the traditional locking up of the Tower of London at night.
Yeoman Warder tour, at the Tower of London – Every dayOne of the best ways of seeing the Tower of London is alongside a Yeoman Warder (better known as the "Beefeaters").
Private tour of the Churchill War Rooms – Every dayEnjoy a private tour of the Churchill War Rooms, and experience Winston Churchill's wartime bunker from behind the glass.
Visions of War — From Above and Below – 2nd April 2015 to 25th September 2016"Visions of War: Above and Below" explores the ways in which artists have portrayed aerial warfare in the 20th century.
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