See the New Guard exchange duty with the Old Guard in the famous Changing the Guard ceremony outside Buckingham Palace.
Changing the Guard, also known as Guard Mounting, takes place outside Buckingham Palace from 10.45am and lasts around 45 minutes, with the actual handover taking place at 11am. The Buckingham Palace Old Guard forms up in the palace’s forecourt from 10.30am and is joined by the St James’s Palace Old Guard at around 10.45am. The New Guard then arrives from Wellington Barracks and takes over the responsibilities of the Old Guard in a formal ceremony accompanied by music.
The guard that looks after Buckingham Palace is called The Queen's Guard and is made up of soldiers on active duty from the Household Division’s Foot Guards. The guards are dressed in traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.
The ceremony is free to watch and currently takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, weather permitting. There is no ceremony on days when large events are held in the city centre. Make sure to check the ceremony schedule on the Household Division’s website before your visit.
This free event is very popular, so be sure to arrive early to secure a spot with a good view.
Changing the Guard also take place at Windsor Castle on certain days at 11am, and Changing of The Queen’s Life Guard takes place daily at Horse Guards Parade at 11am (10am on Sundays). Check the Household Division website for the full schedule of the ceremonies.
Book tickets to Buckingham Palace’s summer opening to step inside the palace itself and admire its lavish interiors during the summer months.
Prices and Opening Times
The ceremony starts at 10.45am, but be sure to arrive much earlier to secure a good viewing spot.
Visit the Household Division website for the full schedule of dates and timings. There is no Changing the Guard in very wet weather.