We use cookies to improve your experience on our website.
If you continue, we will assume you are happy to receive cookies that
enable you to move around our website and use essential features.

We will also collect anonymous information about website usage.

You can accept other cookies that remember the choices
you make to improve your visit and ensure the information
we serve you is more relevant.

Do you want to receive these cookies?

Find out more

Ceremonial Events

Ceremonial duties are an important part of Army history and tradition, and all soldiers undertaking this role are highly trained who also play an important part in military operations worldwide. Ceremonial events take place throughout the country, and indeed the world, but few are as high profile as those that draw millions of tourists to London year after year.

A summary of timings for the Changing the Guard ceremonies in London and Windsor.

The official birthday of the Sovereign is marked each year by a military parade and march-past, known as Trooping the Colour, which takes place each June on Horse Guards Parade, London.

On two successive evenings in June, London's Horse Guards Parade, resounds to the stirring sounds of the Massed Bands of the Household Division as they perform Beating Retreat.

The Household Cavalry and one of the Foot Guards Battalions provide a small contingent on the Sunday nearest to 11th November, the anniversary of the end of hostilities in the First World War.

State visits are formal visits to the UK by Heads of State from overseas, in which the Household Division plays a major ceremonial role.

Each year the Sovereign drives in State to Westminster for the State Opening of Parliament and is accompanied by various elements of Household Division.

The Queen's Guard and Queen's Life Guard are the names given to contingents of soldiers charged with guarding the official royal residences in London.

The Queen's Life Guard is provided by men of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) at Horse Guards.