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Changing the Guards Buckingham Palace

Changing the Guards Buckingham Palace (28)

Changing the Guard is the name of the military ceremony of the Foot Guards in the front courtyard of Buckingham Palace. Thousands of people come every day to the railings of the courtyard in order to see this act of protocol and to listen to the music that accompanies it.

Dressed in their impeccable red tunics and with the famous bearskin hat, the Foot Guards are members of 5 regiments of the British army: the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards. On rare occasions, regiments from other armies of the Commonwealth, such as the Canadian Army, have taken part in the ceremony.

This body of sentries began safeguarding the monarch in 1689, when the Court moved from the palace of Whitehall to that of Saint James. When Queen Victoria moved to Buckingham Palace in 1837, the Foot Guards remained in Saint James’s Palace. Since then the guards have relieved each other so that there is always a detachment responsible for watching over Buckingham Palace. 

Perhaps you will be surprised to know that the number of guards posted in front of the palace indicates whether the Queen is there or not. If she is in her residence, there will be 4 guards, whereas if there are 2, she is not in Buckingham Palace.

As regards the actual changing of the guard, 3 officers and between 30 and 40 soldiers take part. Between the booming voices of command accompanied by music from a band that plays military marches through to well-known pop sings, the relief of the soldiers is carried out.

The changing the guard ceremony takes place at 11.30 in the morning. Between May and July it is held daily and on alternate days during the rest of the year. If it is raining a lot, take an umbrella, but plan another visit, because today there will be no Changing of the Guard.

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