Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
See immaculately turned out guards, precision drill and bands playing stirring music. Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace is one of London’s most popular attractions. It epitomises the pomp and military ceremony for which Britain is famous. See this ceremony every day at 11am (please check the website).
It is the ceremony where the ‘Old Guard’ hand’s over responsibility for protecting both Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the ‘New Guard’. The Old Guard march from St. James’s Palace and the New Guard march from Wellington Barracks.
The Queen’s Guard is normally provided by one of the five regiments of Foot Guards (Scots, Irish, Welsh, Grenadier, and Coldstream) from the Household Division. And there is stirring musical support provided by a Regimental Band performed against the backdrop of Buckingham Palace and the beautiful gardens of Royal Circus. Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace is toe tapping stuff. Despite their ceremonial looks, these are serving soldiers carrying loaded automatic rifles.
Head up Constitution Hill towards the home of another great military hero; the Duke of Wellington. Apsley house is the best preserved example of an English aristocratic town house from its period – given to the Duke by the nation, following the famous victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June 1815. The rooms are in the original style and decor. See the historic ‘Waterloo Gallery’ – where a special banquet is served annually to celebrate the lasting peace between England and France to this day. Outside, the Duke’s equestrian statue is cloaked and watchful – the plinth guarded at each corner by an infantryman. This statue was cast from guns captured at the battle! Today, the 9th Duke of Wellington retains the use of part of the buildings.