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London for Ceremonial
Changing the Guard

Changing the Guard

Dates:Go to 'Schedule' tab for current Changing the Guard schedule. Time:10:30 am St James’ Palace & Wellington Barracks
11 am Buckingham Palace


PLEASE NOTE: Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19 Guard Change will not currently be taking place at any location including Windsor Castle & Buckingham Palace. Guardsmen will still be on sentry duty however no music or ceremony of any kind will accompany Guard Changes. We are sorry for any disappointment this will no doubt cause and intend to resume Guard Change with all its pomp and pageantry as soon as is safe to do so. 

The Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace follows a traditional format that is the basis for guard changing ceremonies which take place at other Palaces and Royal Residences.

The Old Guard (the soldiers currently on duty) form up in front of the palace and are relieved by the New Guard which arrives from Wellington Barracks. The New Guard is accompanied by a Band. The ceremony represents a formal handover of responsibilities.

The Guard at Buckingham Palace is typically provided by one of the five Foot Guards Regiments of the Household Division, identified by the number of buttons on their distinctive tunics and the plume in their bearskin caps.

You will notice that soldiers of both the Old Guard and New Guard carry regimental flags. Known as Colours, these traditionally served as regimental emblems which provided rallying points in battle. Today, they carry regimental distinctions or battle honours emblazoned on them.


How to Watch

Changing of The Queen’s Guard takes place in front of Buckingham Palace at 10:45am and lasts for about 45 minutes. You should arrive early to get the best view. Soldiers gather at St James’s Palace and Wellington Barracks from 10:00am and march to Buckingham Palace accompanied by music. Please go to the 'schedule' tabs for Changing the Guard schedule.

Changing the Guard can sometimes be cancelled at very short notice, especially in wet weather and can be decided as late as 10:45am on the day.



During ‘Changing The Guard’ ceremony, Police Officers are always present to ensure a safe and smooth event.  

If you are coming to watch, please do take care of your personal possessions at all times.  As with all crowded places, pickpockets have been known to operate in this area. Please report any suspicious behaviour to a Police Officer.  For further advice, please visit:  



Go to 'Schedule' tab for current Changing the Guard schedule.

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