Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London

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A Troca da Guarda
Palácio de BuckinghamLondres - Londres (Englaterra) (SW1A 1AA)
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A Troca da Guarda

The  Guardian Changing Ceremony takes place from 1656 and began with highly trained officers and soldiers to protect the exiled King Charles II. Originally the Ceremony took place at Whitehall Palace, which was the official residence of the sovereign in London until 1689. Thereafter, when the court moved to St. James’s Palace, the ceremony took place there. After Queen Victoria moved to Buckingham Palace in 1837, the Queen’s Guard remained in the Palace of St. James, with a detachment guarding Buckingham Palace, as it still is today. Today, the main ceremony is free and held at Buckingham Palace. The strength of the Guard is governed by the presence of the Queen. If the Royal Standard is flying above the Palace, the Queen is in residence and the number of sentries is increased.

The ceremony at Buckingham Palace

The ceremony at Buckingham Palace follows a traditional format that is the basis for guard-changing ceremonies that take place in other palaces and royal residences. The Queen’s Guard soldiers actually work in shifts of 2 hours each, which means that new guards start their shift every 2 hours, when we talk about changing the Guard, it means replacing a group of soldiers. The Old Guard (the soldiers currently in service) form in front of the palace and are relieved by the New Guard arriving from Wellington Barracks. The new guard is accompanied by a band. The ceremony represents a formal handing over of responsibilities. You will notice that Old Guard and New Guard soldiers carry regimental flags known as Colors, these have traditionally served as regimental emblems and their rally points in battles. Today, they carry regimental honors.

How to watch the Guard Change:

The Queen’s Guard exchange takes place opposite Buckingham Palace at 10:45 and lasts about 45 minutes. You must arrive early to get the best view. Soldiers gather at St. James’s Palace and Wellington Barracks at 10am and march to Buckingham Palace accompanied by music. The Ceremony takes place every 2 days in the winter and practically every day in the summer, but can be canceled at the last minute, especially in rainy weather. Check the Guard website, dates, times and which guards will be on duty. For you to take the best photos, without much confusion it is good to stay closer to St. James’s Palace and accompany the guards on the march or as the ceremony takes place in several different points at the same time, staying in the Victoria Memorial, in a good position, may give you an overview of all the steps of the event.

The Changing of the Queen’s Guard in detail

Note: This is only an idea of ​​the exchange in the last months. Due to time, concern for security and other factors, the change can be changed.

10:30 a.m.
The New Guard forms and is inspected on the outskirts of Wellington Barracks (its base near St. James’ Park). While the Guard is being inspected, a band stationed at the Barracks will start playing.


10:45 a.m.
The guards at St. Jame’s Palace will form the Friary Court and leave the palace in formation following towards Buckingham Palace via The Mall street usually led by a band. At the same time, the old Guard at Buckingham Palace will make the first few lines in the courtyard in front of the Palace.

10:55 a.m.
The new Guard will walk from the Wellingon Barracks down the Birdcage Walk to Buckingham Palace, where the old guard at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of St. James are already waiting in formation.


11:00 a.m.
All together (old and new guards) in front of the Palace, the guards present their arms to each other and the captains march towards each other when they find the keys of Buckingham Palace exchange hands. This part of the ceremony takes place inside the gates of the palace. At this time the Royal Band (Usually 35 musicians from one of the Queens Guard Regiments) plays music to entertain the huge crowds of people who came from all over the world to attend this procedure.

In addition to the music, there are also guards parading the colors (or flags) of their respective regiments, while all soldiers are inspected and counted.

11:30 a.m.
I throw all the inspections and keys handed over to the new captain, the new guards being taken to their positions at Buckingham Palace and St. James’s. While the guards who were in position before are taken to the Wellington Barracks, usually with the band.


Viajar é conhecer lugares diferentes. Nossa proposta não é apenas viajar para os locais, é ir além. É passar um período maior, interagir com as pessoas da cidade e sentir a cultura e o dia a dia de cada local. Da lista de países que conheci, optei por morar em alguns lugares para vivenciar a experiência com mais profundidade e poder compartilhar com mais detalhes e exatidão além de descobrir os segredos de cada local, não se limitando aos pontos turísticos mais famosos.

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