See the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Part 2)

See the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Part 2)

After waking up early, and waiting an hour & a half sardine packed (see part 1), the events of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace started just before 11:30 AM.

The guards arrived by passing Victoria Monument, directly in front of Buckingham Palace, and then entering through the ornate front gates of the palace.

This was harder to see when my face was pushed up against the front gates, but I waited too long for this prime location to risk losing my spot. I wasn't budging.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham PalaceChanging of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Dozens of guards, with stern expressions on their face, marched into the gates doors. Not a smile in the bunch.

Being that these guards are actual serving soldiers of the British Army, they meant business. You have to respect them as they are known to be some of the most elite and skilled. 
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

"The Queen's Guard" is the guard who mounts at Buckingham Palace.

I couldn't help but wonder what the heck he was thinking about for hours on end while he was on watch. Maybe he fretting about an upcoming rugby game? Or going over his list of groceries needed for this evenings dinner?
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Any of the five regiments of the British Army may be present at the changing and are identified by the plume on there bearskin cap, grouping of buttons on their tunic and color badge.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

This is a Welsh guardsman, which is known by the green and white plume worn on the left side of his bearskin cap.

The bearskin is generally 18" tall and 1.5 pounds. I would have easily guessed over 5 pounds.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The band arrived and set up just to the left of the gates doors, this is the position I would opt for next time. The crowd was silent as we waited to see what was in their musical repertoire.

The band started their set with Queen's 'We are the Champions'. Completely unexpected and just plain awesome.

They followed this up with Mack the Knife by Frank Sinatra. An oldie, but goodie.Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
 Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

It was at this time that we decided to leave our front row standing position a tad early, in order to avoid the exiting crowds, and head across the street towards the London Underground

Luckily, we were stopped by the crossing-the-street guard. And because of this we had the best view of the guards exiting Buckingham Palace…
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

…and I got my absolute favorite shot at the changing of the guard, the one of the Irish guard escorting his Irish Wolfhound.
 Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Once we were able to safely cross the road, we walked towards St. James Palace on our way to catch the tube and got a second show.

Standing guard on Stable Yard Road was one Irish guardsmen. Perfect for photo opportunities.

Still no smile. Not even a smirk.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

As we left the solo guard, we walked one block up to Marlborough Road and were struck by our third show, the band was marching, returning back to their headquarters.

We got lucky and picked the right route.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

One day, three shows and a bucket list check for free. That's a good day.

Would you go to see the Changing of the Guard?

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18 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. AdventureRob says:

    Always worth going to this. Last time I went (just before new years) I arrived just in time and was disheartened I was going to miss it, but still managed to get a reasonable spot and catch them marching by. A must for any London visitor!

  2. Happy to hear you at least got a glimpse of them marching by!

  3. You got some great shots!  I have always wanted to do this, however, we always seem to be in London in the winter.  I'm considering planning a summer trip just so we can do all the things we have missed in the off-season.

  4. Thank you! I took way too many photos ;)

  5. Ruth2Day says:

    I grew up in England, but I can honestly say that I would go back and watch this event over and over again.

  6. Me too, but, I’d switch locations every time to get a different perspective :)

  7. I loved watching this event years ago, great pics dear!

  8. Mary R says:

    Gorgeous shots! I love all the red and those black furry toppers! That one pic with the dog is awesome!

  9. I loved that dog! He was the only one there.

  10. oooh!  I definitely want to witness this in my life!!  also, I'm really diggin' your default/profile pic…too cute!! =D

  11. Bailey says:

    I don't think I would be able to do that, and keep a straight face the whole time.

  12. I'm always impressed that they can keep a straight face. I guess it's that British "stiff upper lip" thing. 

  13. Me too. And how they never look anyone in the eye.

  14. Robert Bennett says:

    Just as some friendly advice and perhaps for future reference, he is not in fact just "a dog".  He is actually the "regimental mascot" of the Irish Guards, who have had an Irish Wolfhound in such a position since the regiment was formed in 1902.  He is traditionally given a Gaelic Irish name, and the first one was called Brian Boru.  Other Guards regiments have for short periods had mascots, but only the Irish Guard's has endured.  An image of a mascot circa WW1 can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/7092805033/

  15. Thank you for the information!

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