The guard duties are normally provided by a battalion of the Household Division and occasionally by other infantry battalions or other units.
As you might know the Household Division is made up of seven Regiments:
The Household Cavalry Regiment.
The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals; they wear a metal helmet.
The five regiments of foot: Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards. They wear the bearskin cap (is now made of synthetic fiber).
To know who is on guard on the day of your visit, look at the following website www.changing-the-guard.com , at "Guard Mount Schedule" where you will find what battalion is on guard on a specific day.
If you want to see the scarlet tunics and bearskin caps choice a foot guard regiment. During my last visit there was an alternation between the Irish Guards and the Blues and Royals. I choose the day with the Irish Guards with the band of the Grenadier Guards.
The Irish Guards wear a bleu plume on their bearskin cap.
June 2012 second half, every day: Coldstream Guards and Scots Guards alternate.
There is no Guard Mounting in very wet weather.
I've been there so many years ago, when everything was "great", "beautiful", "amazing"... and this was all I could say unfortunately :(
I remember that I've been spending long minutes in front of that building trying to understand why it is so "special".
Probably now I can say that the History behind its walls, together with the walls itself are giving that special atmosphere of "being special".
The nice neo-classical creation (only a part of it) of John Nash is probably the best way of showing the power of the former Britannic Empire to the rest of the World.
Actually, Nash was dismissed as he has lost somehow the control over the budget, trying to make something really extravagant.
The Palace itself seems to be a real art gallery and I'm still waiting for the day when one of the queens-kings will invite me inside for coffee and a closer look :)
No trip to London is complete without visiting Buckingham Palace, the ultra-luxurious residence of the British monarchy. Even for those who live in the UK, it's worth visiting this awe-inspiring palace at least once - if only to see for yourself what it really looks like to live in the lap of luxury!
While many compare Buckingham Palace to similar palaces in Paris and Istanbul, it really is unique in its own right, both architecturally and in terms of its distinct British history. From its vast meeting halls and foyers, replete with chandeliers and expansive mirrors, to its perfectly manicured gardens, Buckingham Palace really is the cream of the crop when it comes to London sightseeing!
Buckingham Palace is one of the most beautiful architectural works of the world. If you are travelling to London, don't miss these master piece. You can watch the change of royal guards behind the fence which takes place at 11:00. Visit to the royal mews will cost you some pounds. I took an online pass which includes entrance to the royal mews and the Tower of London, and that costs 16 pounds.
Our walk through the Royal mews was really interesting. It is essentially the stables, but you'll also get a chance to see many of the Royal carriages and a couple vehicles - we were even lucky enough to see a couple horses.
The Brits are all about pomp and pageantry and you'll get a taste of it here. Great way to go out for a Sunday ride.
Buckingham Palace is another one of those must see locations when visiting London. As home to the royal family, the palace is actually the residence of the Queen. Tours are available, but not when the family is in residence.
We were lucky enough to have tickets to tour the Palace, the Royal Mews and visit the Queen's Gallery plus see the exhibit from the Royal wedding which included Kate's dress (beautiful), her earrings (lovely), and also see the wedding cake. The staterooms are very tastefully decorated - ornate, but not over the top. The artwork in the gallery were exquisite, and I'm sure that there are many more pieces that were not on display.
Exiting through the rear of the palace we had a chance to walk through the gardens on the way out. Spacious, lush and beautiful.
If you can get there, do try to visit the palace. It was interesting and beautiful.
At 10.45 am starts on the parade ground of Wellington Barracks the formation of the new guard and the inspection of the Guardsmen.
This was done by a little man; as he wore a normal cap, not a bearskin cap, he looked smaller than the Irish Guards. He was dressed with a dark blue coat, had a sword and spurs at his boots. So that he looked quite different from any guardsmen on the parade ground but he clearly was the chief inspector of all the parade.
During more than half an hour he inspected each button on the scarlet tunics, checked if the white belts were fitted tightly, if the shoes were clean, the correct position of the riffle at the shoulder. He inspected all ranks: guardsmen, sergeants and even the two officers. A sergeant major was following him writing his remarks on a notebook!
Among the tourists standing behind the railing of Wellington barracks a number has been in the army like me; we all had the same thought, how could he find defects on Guardsmen who are an example of military perfection?
At the end of the parade I asked a guardsman at the entry of the barracks who was that man. I was answered the "adjutant" what surprised me because this rank, highest of NCOs, is used in France or Belgium but not to my knowledge in the UK where the equivalent is "Warrant Officer". So I will have to return to learn who was that perfectionist inspecting the mounting Irish Guards.
After some search on the web I found that Guards Battalions have officers called "adjutants". The one which intrigued me was a Captain, Adjutant 1st Battalion Irish Guards.
There is also a Colonel, Regimental Adjutant and, last but not least, Prince William is the Irish Guards' first royal colonel (since Feb. 2011) and its Colonel-in-Chief is the Queen.
Buckingham Palace has served as the official London residence of Britain's sovereigns since 1837 and today is the administrative headquarters of the Monarch.
Getting to Buckingham Palace involves walking through Green Park or from St. James Parks Station.
On the day, it rained on-and-off and because there aren't any shelter along the way, we had to sort refuge under a big tree with an umbrella. The sky cleared and we were able to carry on. It may be a good thing though as the queue and number of visitors disappeared during the rain and after the rain, the visitors number hasn't build up yet.
It is a "must see" in London the changing of the guards, in the royal palace. Many hundred people compress against the grids, to see a show that, in the palace's yard, has not much to see.
Part of the changing daily at 11.00, the other each two days, at 11.30, the show is mainly in the surrounding avenues, with the parade of troops and bands to and from the ceremony.
Let me tell you a story that defines English (and shames me):
I was in Whitehall and saw a band, with the big black hat, coming down the avenue. I stepped forward into the avenue and inclined myself framing the scene, waiting for the band to approach enough to fill the picture. When I finished I looked back, and shame on me: three lines of cars were stopped behind me, the crazy guy who forgot that in England traffic is by the left hand. All London waiting for my picture, without honking or any other sign of impatience.
Buckingham Palace has been the main London home of the Royals since 1837. It was originally built for the Duke of Buckingham. The large statue in front of the palace (outside the gates) is the Queen Victoria Memorial which was built in 1901 and glorifies the achievements of the British Empire.
The outside of the Palace is really unimpressive - not an interesting building at all, although the gold gates were very ornate. Although the Palace is open to the public for a few weeks in the summer, it was not open while we were there. The State Rooms that are open include the Dining Room, Music Room, White Drawing Room, and Throne Room. From the photos I have seen, the inside looks spectacular. I am sure that the inside more accurately reflects the Royal's wealth and lifestyle than the outside and I'm sorry I wasn't able to see that.
We didn’t see the changing of the guard either (I've seen it before), but did see a few of the famous guards in their guardhouses inside the palace gates. The changing of the guards takes place on alternate mornings at 11:30 a.m., and daily in May, June, and July. Get there early for a good viewing spot!!
A visit to Buckingham Palace is a must see when in London!
23 July - 3 October 2011 09:45-18:30 (last admission 15:45)
Admission is by timed ticket with entry every 15 minutes throughout the day. Tickets are valid only on the date and at the entrance time specified on the ticket. Regrettably, late-comers cannot be admitted. A visit lasts between 2 and 2½ hours.
The State Rooms, Buckingham Palace
(includes audio guide)
Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £16.00
Under 17 £10.00
Under 5 Free
Family £46.00 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
A Royal Day Out
(This ticket gives admission to three sites: The State Rooms, the Royal Mews and The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace)
(only available23 July - 3 October 2011)
Over 60/ Student (with valid ID) £28.25
Under 17 £17.50
Family £81.50 (2 adults and 3 under 17s)
Ticket Sales and Information Office:
The Official Residences of The Queen
London SW1A 1AA
Telephone (+44) (0)20 7766 7300
Fax (+44) (0)20 7930 9625
Changing the Guard
Changing the Guard takes place at 11:30 daily from May until the end of July and on alternate days for the rest of the year, weather permitting.
Provisional Schedule for 2011 (please note that this schedule is set by the British Army and is subject to change. Please check this site prior to a visit)
March - odd numbered dates (1, 3, 5, etc)
April - even numbered dates (2, 4, 6, etc)
May - daily, except 28 May
June - daily, except 4 June
July - daily
The new guards arrive at the forecourt of the Palace at 11:30 from Wellington Barracks. The journey takes about 5 minutes and the soldiers are accompanied by a band. The ceremony is conducted on the Palace forecourt and takes approximately forty minutes to complete.
The Queen's Guard
The Queen's Guard changes 11:30am in the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. At Windsor Castle the ceremony usually takes place in the Castle's quadrangle at 11:30am. In summer the ceremony takes place every day. In winter it takes place every other day.
Please note that all visitor information is correct as of this update.
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