Changing of the Guards in London

London, Greater London

Pomp, ceremony and black bearskin hats.


For sheer pomp and ceremony, you can’t beat the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Every day during the summer months (and on alternate ones during winter), two soldiers in scarlet tunics and tall black bearskin caps march along The Mall, from St James’s Palace to Buckingham Palace at 11.30am – accompanied by a full 35-piece military band.

The guardsmen line up for inspection and the baton is passed from one regiment to the next, whose job it is to guard the Queen for the next 24 hours. Arms are presented, new sentries are posted and everything is right with the world once more. Phew! Hard, though it is to believe, the aim of all this is to pass the palace keys to those taking over the next shift. Nevertheless, it’s stirring stuff.

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