Changing the Guard

Attractions & History




1 hour

Why go:

See Buckingham Palace with an old London tradition and music


St James's Park or Hyde Park Corner




Not required

Opening times

  • Monday - Saturday: 10:45am - 11:30am

  • Sunday: 9:45am - 10:30am


Close by


  • Watch the famous exchange of duty between the old and new guards of St James's & Buckingham Palace's entrance. 

  • The guards have been protecting St James's & Buckingham Palace since 1660, wearing traditional red tunics and bearskin hats.

  • When the new group of guards arrive the trumpeters of both the old and new guard sound a royal salute and are sometimes supported by a marching band made up of 35 musicians. 

  • The formal ceremony exchange occurs just outside Buckingham Palace starting at 10:45am on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and at 9:45am on Sunday. 

  • There is no ceremony on days when large events are held in the city centre. Make sure to check the ceremony schedule here.

  • The guards are posted outside from 11am to 4pm daily. 

  • Get to Buckingham Palace 30 minutes beforehand to get a good spot.

  • Please note that the exchange will not occur in bad weather. 

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