Changing of the Guard

Changing the Guard is a formal ceremony in which the group of soldiers currently protecting Buckingham Palace are replaced by a new group of soldiers. Elite soldiers have guarded the King or Queen since the reign of Henry VII who made the Royal Body Guard a permanent institution which has spanned over 520 years of history.

The Queen's Guard in London comprises two detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment and the St James's Palace Detachment. 

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.

Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace takes place every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and on Sunday.

Windsor Castle Guard has resumed and takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and consists of the New Guard marching from Victoria Barracks, Windsor led by a Band or Corps of Drums. Once at the Castle the Guard conduct a ceremonial handover of responsibilities before the Old Guard marches back to Victoria Barracks. 

Updates to viewing the Changing of the Guard ceremony 

From Tuesday 3 May 2022, public access in front of Buckingham Palace will be extremely limited due to the preparation and build for events to celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Whilst Changing the Guard will still take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays at 11am, the opportunities to view from the front of the Palace will be extremely limited and those wishing to view the ceremony are advised to arrive early.

Once the allocated areas to view Changing the Guard are full, the area will be closed off. For those unable to find a viewing point in front of the Palace, the Guards can still be viewed en route as they make their way along the Mall from Marlborough Road, and there will be additional opportunity to view the new guard form up through the railings of Wellington Barracks, on Birdcage Walk.

Restricted public access is expected to end by Monday 20 June 2022.

There will be no Changing the Guard on Monday 6th June. From Tuesday 7 June, Changing the Guard will take place daily until the end of July. 

The Household Cavalry change guard on Horse Guards Parade daily at 11am (10am on Sundays). On days of rehearsals or other events taking place on Horse Guards, the Guard Change can move to 4pm.