Changing the Guard, at Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace, The Mall, London 51.501009 -0.141588
Dates & Time:
2nd February to 30th June 2014 (even dates only in February and March, plus 31st March, and every day thereafter) -- 11.15 AM to 12 noon -- Arrive as early as possible to get a good place. Be aware that the event may be cancelled if there's bad weather
Free to watch. See
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Strolling down the Mall 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.

Be aware that the schedule is set by the British Army, and may change at short notice. The event is also heavily dependant on the weather.

[Note: You might also see some other soldiers marching down The Mall, but these are taking part in a similar ceremony at Horse Guards.]

>> Any questions?  Talk about this event

  • 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 se… more

>> Read Drummerboy’s review

  • “I finally got around to doing Changing the Guard this week (and last week). I had to go two weeks in a row because I messed it up the first time -- I got there too late! Changing the Guard is one of those things that all the touri…”

If you like this, here are some more Changing the Guard ceremonies…


Dismounting Ceremony (or Four O’Clock Parade) – Every day
The “Dismounting Ceremony” takes place in the small courtyard beyond the parade ground. The guards will be lined-up for inspection by a very vocal Officer, who will then order the horses be taken back to the stables for the night. The courtyard will then be guarded by dismounted sentries until morning, when the following day’s “Changing the Guard” will bring back the mounted sentries.


This event has been tagged with June whats on London, London Drum has no association with this event or venue. Whilst we make every effort to ensure that the above information is accurate, events can be cancelled at any time, and the timings, prices and details can be amended without us being notified. You should therefore always reconfirm the details with the organisers before making any plans or purchases, as we will not be held responsible for any inaccuracies.

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