NileGuide Expert Says:
If the crowds are too much, try catching the guards before the parade at Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk
SW1A 1AA London, United Kingdom
tel: +44 20 783 9137
NileGuide Expert tip:
During the winter months the parade occurs on every other day, check the website before you go
The Queen's Guard is made up of five regiments: Coldstream, Grendadier, Welsh, Irish, and Scots who protect Her Majesty when she is in residence at Buckingham Palace. When these guards require a rest, a ceremony known as the Changing of the Guard takes place, drawing thousands of spectators. Famed for the bearskin hats and smart red coats, the Guard's spectacle of pomp and circumstance is part of the reason people flock to London.
The new guard leaves Wellington Barracks a few minutes before the change and marches down Birdcage Walk to Buckingham Palace. The 40 minute ceremony takes place within the gates of the palace, so get there early to secure a good vantage spot along the palace gates. In addition, the St. James's Palace detachment of the Queen's guard marches to Buckingham Palace at 11:15am and back to St. James's at 12:10p.
For another, less crowded Changing of the Guard ceremony visit the Horse Guards around 11am where soldiers on horseback make the swap.