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London for Ceremonial
The Queen's Life Guard

The Queen's Life Guard

Dates:Daily Time:11:00am Mon – Sat
10:00am Sun
Where:Horse Guards Parade



The Queen’s Life Guard is provided by men of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at Horse Guards. Horse Guards is named after the troops who have mounted The Queen’s Life Guard here since the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660. Every day, whatever the season or weather, members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride down from Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge to take over guard duties at 11:00am (Sundays at 10:00am) for the next twenty–four hours.

The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment consists of a squadron from each of the two most senior Regiments of the British Army: The Life Guards wear red tunics and white plumed helmets, and The Blues and Royals wear blue tunics and red plumed helmets.

When The Queen is in London, the Guard consists of one Officer, one Corporal Major (who carries the Standard), two Non-Commissioned Officers, one Trumpeter and ten Troopers. This is known as a Long Guard. When Her Majesty is not resident in London, the Guard is reduced to two Non-Commissioned Officers and ten Troopers. This is known as a Short Guard.


Troop Movements

In the morning, The Queen’s Life Guard leaves Hyde Park Barracks at 10:28am on weekdays (9:28am on Sundays) and rides to Horse Guards Parade passing through Hyde Park Corner and along Constitution Hill and The Mall. The ceremony of Changing The Queen’s Life Guard then takes place on Horse Guards Parade.

During most of the day the entrance to Horse Guards is guarded by two mounted sentries. After a parade at 4:00pm two dismounted sentries remain on duty until the gates are shut at 8:00pm. At this time, a single sentry remains on guard until 7:00am when a second sentry returns on duty.


When to Watch

  • Changing of The Queen’s Life Guard at 11:00am (10:00am on Sunday)
  • Two mounted sentries guard the entrance to Horse Guards on Whitehall from 10:00am until 4:00pm. These are changed every hour.
  • Dismounted parade of the guard at 4:00pm. Thereafter, two dismounted sentries on duty until 8:00pm.


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:  

Horse Guards Parade


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