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  • Address: Buckingham Palace Road
  • Hours: Daily 11:30am

London ATTRACTIONS See all

Changing of the Guard

The daily Changing of the Guard ceremony provides the most atmospheric time to visit Buckingham Palace. Set at about 11:30am, the 45-minute spectacle is a classic example of British pomp and ceremony, a centuries-old tradition that marks the official shift change of the Household Regiment—the Queen's guards who are stationed at Buckingham Palace.

For visitors, the Changing of the Guard is a chance to witness the grandeur of a royal march, with the guards dressed in their iconic red suits and bearskin hats, with regimental flags held aloft. The ceremony begins with the New Guard marching from Wellington Barracks to the palace with a marching band, while the mounted Horse Guards leave from the Hyde Park barracks and cross The Mall to St James' Palace. The official hand-off then takes place in the palace forecourt.

To get a good view, it's best to arrive early—as early as 9:30am in the summer months for a good view. Some tours are timed specifically for the ceremony, guaranteeing the best viewpoints and a local guide. Travelers can also pair the show with a tour of Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle, or with afternoon tea, a quintessential English experience.

Practical Info

Buckingham Palace's Changing of the Guard ceremony takes place daily at 11:30am and lasts about 45 minutes. The nearest tube stations are St James Park, Green Park and Victoria. Be aware that the ceremony can be canceled in bad weather.

Did You Know? The Guards' famous bearskin hats stand up to 18 inches tall and weigh one and a half pounds. Head to the Guards Museum on Wellington Barracks to try one on and even pose for a photo!

Tours & Tickets

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Royal London Sightseeing Tour with Changing of the Guard Ceremony, London, null
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Royal London Sightseeing Tour with Changing of the Guard Ceremony

4 star rating: Recommended 138 Reviews

This Royal Tour of London takes in many of the royal highlights of London, including Westminster Abbey where Prince William and Kate Middleton, where married ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $47.12
Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle Day Trip from London, London, Half-day Tours
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Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle Day Trip from London

4 star rating: Recommended 129 Reviews

Visit two of England's most royal attractions on this day trip combining Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. You'll be one of the first to enter Windsor ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $115.11
London Full-Day Sightseeing Tour, London, Day Trips
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London Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 1172 Reviews

See the best that England’s capital has to offer on a full-day city tour of London! After an early access visit to the UNESCO-listed Tower of London to see the ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $123.87
London Vintage Bus Tour Including River Thames Cruise with Optional Lunch, London, Bus & Minivan ... 
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London Vintage Bus Tour Including River Thames Cruise with Optional Lunch

4.5 star rating: Recommended 24 Reviews

Discover London’s highlights on this action-packed half-day tour. Explore the city by vintage double-decker bus and see famous sights such as Westminster ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $43.08
Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea, London, Bus & ... 
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Buckingham Palace Tour Including Changing of the Guard Ceremony and Afternoon Tea

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 176 Reviews

Enjoy three quintessential British experiences on a 4.5-hour royal London tour, combining the legendary Changing of the Guard ceremony with an audio tour of ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $118.48
London Walking Tour Including Fast-Track Westminster Abbey Visit and Changing of the Guard, London, ... 
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London Walking Tour Including Fast-Track Westminster Abbey Visit and Changing of the Guard

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

Visit Westminster Abbey and get a front-row view of the Changing of the Guard on this 2.5-hour London walking tour. With a knowledgeable guide, get fast-track ...  Read more

Location: London, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $87.51

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