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Changing of the Guard

The pomp and ceremony involved in the Changing of the Guard is a popular London tourist attraction.

The Queen's Guard in London comprises two detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment and the St James's Palace Detachment. The Queen's Guard changes at 11:30am in the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. At Windsor Castle the ceremony usually takes place in the Castle's quadrangle at 11:30am. In summer the ceremony takes place every day. In winter it takes place every other day.

The soldiers currently on duty form up in front of the Palace and are relieved by the New Guard which arrives from Wellington Barracks. The ceremony reflects traditions and represents a formal handover of responsibilities, accompanied by a Band or Corps of Drums.

The Queen's Life Guard are the mounted troopers of the Household Cavalry who guard the official entrance to St James's Palace and Buckingham Palace outside Horse Guards in Whitehall.

Important notice: From the 16 Jan 17 Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace will only take place on Mondays Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays with all timings being earlier by thirty minutes. Windsor Castle Guard will stay at the same time, but will also only take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Please refer to the document in the right-hand panel for timings on those days.

The Queen's Guard

Queen's guard

The Queen's Guard changes 11:30am in the forecourt at Buckingham Palace.

The Queen's Life Guard

Queen's life guard

The Guard Changing Ceremony takes place each weekday at 11:00am and at 10:00am on Sundays at Horse Guards.

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