London is a fascinating city which is fiercely cosmopolitan but also delves deep into traditions and culture! This is why, there are some age-old ceremonies and historic attractions that must be on every traveller’s itinerary. An iconic ceremony, attended by millions of people annually, the Changing of the Guard in London must be at the top of your list of things to do in the capital city.
Reserve a luxurious stay at a Premier Inn Rewards hotel to enjoy outstanding comfort and stay in the heart of London, for utmost convenience exploring its unmissable offerings. The spectacular ceremony is an intrinsic part of London’s history, and if you’re planning to see it, here is all you need to know.
What is the Changing of the Guard?
Soldiers have been guarding Kings and Queens ever since Henry VII designated the Royal Bodyguard to be a permanent job fixture. The Changing of the Guard is the official ceremony where the Old Guard, currently guarding the monarch are released from duty and replaced by the New Guard.
At the ceremony, the Old Guard handed over the responsibility of protecting the palace with a ceremonial set of keys. This is officially known as the ‘Guards Mounting ceremony’ which is carried out by the experienced Foot Guard soldiers who also execute a series of marches.
The virtually impressive ceremony is accompanied by the legendary music played by the Guards Band. With your stay at a luxury accommodation in Kensington, grab the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the ceremony, accompanied by music ranging from traditional military themes and even some well-known pop songs, including the popular James Bond theme tune.
When is the Changing of the Guard and What Times Does It Happen?
The Changing of Guard ceremony generally takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, between January and May and August to December. If you’re planning a visit, fuel yourself with a scrumptious meal at the exquisite Hyde Park Hotel restaurant and remember that the ceremony starts at 10.45 am sharp, while the actual handover takes place at 11 am. From 11 to 11.30 am watch the Guards parade the regimental colours followed by the posting of new sentries from the New Guard. Also, the duty Drummer informs the Director of music about the completion of the handover and the reformation of the band at Centre Gates.
Note: Arrive early to secure a great spot as the main ceremony outside Buckingham Palace, lasts about 40 minutes.
Where to Watch the Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard?
There are five spots from where you can get a good view of the Changing of the Guard ceremony. These include The Victoria Memorial, The Mall, Wellington Barracks, Friday Court in St. James Palace, and the Buckingham Palace Gate.
Pro tip: It is best recommended to watch the ceremony from The Victoria Memorial or the Buckingham Palace Gate for impressive views. This is so because both the spots enjoy the advantage of being at the centre of the action with The Grand Restaurant Paddington, only moments away.
Make the most of the perfect vantage point and see the New Guards arriving for an experience to remember forever!