Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is one of London's most iconic attractions. People come there on the one hand to see the famous red tunics and bear hair headdresses of the guards. On the other hand, to listen to the fanfare performing a sometimes astonishing musical repertoire!
This folk activity, which will also appeal to children, is a good free plan. It is no coincidence that it attracts several thousand tourists every day!
When can we attend the changing of the guard and what are the good tips to be in the best position and take great photos?
What is the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace?
The Changing of the Guard is a military parade during which one regiment takes over from the other. The royal guard is made up of five infantry regiments which are:
– les Scots Guards,
– les Irish Guards,
- the Wels Guards,
- the Grenadiers Guards
– les Coldstream Guards.
They ensure the protection of the palace where Queen Elisabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh reside.
Where exactly is the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace?
The ceremony is held in the front yard of Buckingham Palace.
What are the changing of the guard hours at Buckingham Palace?
Since January 16, 2017, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace begins at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday, Friday et Sunday.
In case of bad weather, the ceremony is canceled.
To be sure that the succession takes place, I advise you to visit the British Army website which gives all the information on this subject.
What is the route of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace?
The Rising Guard, otherwise known as the New Guard, departs from Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk to the Victoria Memorial and arrives 5 minutes later at Buckingham Palace.
At the end of the changeover, the descending guard finds Wellington barracks by the same path.
What is the musical repertoire of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace?
The musical repertoire of the Royal Guard is particularly rich and varied. Indeed, the orchestra can perform traditional military music as well as popular hits or film music.
For example, the guards replayed the credits of Games of Thrones and Hawaii State Police but also melodies of well-known singers such as the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Elton John…
How long does the changing of the guard take at Buckingham Palace?
The changing of the guard ceremony lasts about forty minutes.
At what time to arrive to get the best seat?
The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace attracts a lot of people every day and this is all the more true in summer.
So, on sunny days, I advise you to arrive in Buckingham at 10 a.m., one hour and a half before the ceremony. For the rest of the year and more particularly during the week, outside school holidays, an arrival around 11:00 am can be considered.
What are the best tips for seeing the changing of the guard and taking great photos?
The first tip is to avoid coming in winter when the guards no longer wear their famous sparkling red tunics but gray coats. They are nevertheless chic but less photogenic!
Do not be like the crowd that concentrates behind the palace gates thinking they are in the right place. It is not from here that you will take the best photos because you will either be jostled by the spectators or hampered by the gate.
For an overview of the troops, take a seat at the Victoria Memorial, opposite the palace. Ideally raised, it allows to have a global overview. (view the photo)
The best plan is to stand in front of Wellington Barracks located on Birdcage Walk. This is where it all begins. There are fewer people and this is the perfect place to take great photos of the uniforms.
Visit Buckingham Palace
Each year from July to October the Buckingham Palace opens its doors to the public who can visit the Queen's apartments. This is the only occasion where one can discover the living environment of the royal family.
This visit, which attracts thousands of tourists every year, must be booked directly on the Great Britain Tourist Office websiteor on the GetYourGuide website.
How to get to Buckingham Palace?Metro