May 09, 2016

Changing of the Guards

One of London’s most popular tourist attractions is the ceremonial changing of the Household Troops with their iconic red tunics, bearskin hats and accompanying brass marching band. Large crowds gather in front of Buckingham Palace and around Victoria Monument to watch the spectacle unfold but London isn’t the only place to witness this traditional military ceremony. Similar events also take place at Windsor Castle and the Prince’s Palace in Monaco.

Changing of the Guard, London

1.  Buckingham Palace, London

We had to arrive early for our prime location in front of the palace gates for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. The ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m. and take about 45 minutes to complete across multiple locations, including St. James Palace and Horse Guard’s Parade. The British Army website posts the schedule for Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace

The Palace Gates

Victoria Monument

Crowds Gathering Around Victoria Monument

The Marching Band

Horse Guard

2.  Windsor Castle, Windsor

We caught another similar ceremony while touring Queen Elizabeth’s favourite residence, Windsor Castle. The Changing of the Guard takes place in the castle’s Lower Ward near St. George’s Chapel. The British Army website also posts a schedule for Windsor Castle.

Windsor Castle

The Round Tower

St. George's Chapel

The Lower Ward

Windsor Guards

3.  The Prince’s Palace, Monaco

Meanwhile on the relaxed Cote d’Azur, the guard changes a little bit later than in England. The ceremony takes place at 11:55 a.m. on Palace Square in front of the Prince’s Palace in Monaco Ville. A little red tourist train stops near the palace at the top of 'the Rock’. The guards’ uniforms here are better suited to the mild Mediterranean climate -  no bearskin hats!

The Prince's Palace, Monaco

Palace Clock Tower

Monaco Tourist Train

Changing of the Guard, Monaco

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