See the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Part 1)

Rumor has it that you need to wake in the wee hours of the morning in order to get a good position for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London. Still suffering from slight jet lag, I decided that 9:30 was early enough.

The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London typically happens every other day (daily during the warmer months) at 11:30 am…sharp.

When we arrived, a minimum amount of tourists were present. I should have savored that moment.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The early arrival did give me the opportunity to photograph the exquisitely ornate gates and the one guard stationed at his post.

The official British Monarch coat of arms, The Royal Coat of Arms, adorns the front gates to the palace.
Buckingham Palace Gate
Buckingham Palace Gate

I had never seen such spectacular iron and stone work.

This was evident by the dozens of photos that I took just of this. Now, I have a picture guidebook for the iron workers who will reconstruct these gates for my future mansion. I am a dreamer.
Buckingham Palace Gate

By 9:45 we felt comfortable enough to step away from the front of the gates to inspect the impressive Victoria Memorial which stands directly in front of Buckingham Palace.
Queen Victoria Statue at Buckingham Palace

The structure is made of 2,300 tons of marble. Surely enough to cover the floors of my new mansion?
Queen Victoria Statue at Buckingham Palace   Queen Victoria Statue at Buckingham Palace

The massive memorial is seemingly protected by a few surrounding statues; Angel of Truth, Angel of Justice and Charity. We can throw one of those into the yard of my palace. Why not?

There is a similar monument for her husband, Prince Albert, that we saw while strolling through Kensington Gardens. Both are equally as impressive.
statue Buckingham Palace

By 10:00 we decided to scope out the front of the gates for the perfect viewing location. Though there were a dozen or so folks already there, we still got front row standing.

With an hour an a half until showtime we started to contemplate roaming again. But during the fifteen minutes of contemplation we were sandwich in with no hope for escape. 

By 10:30, the front gates were a half dozen people deep and hundreds of people cluttered Queen Victoria.
Crowd at Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

We were pushed against the iron with barely enough room to turn around. And just as I thought I needed to break away from the confinement, there was indication that something was going to happen.

A beautiful horse and carriage sauntered by. This was all I needed to continue my sardine stance.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

The horse and carriage were followed by the marching horses. The folks who crowded the Victoria Monument had the best view of this.

But, I wasn’t jealous because my nose was pressed into the iron gate of Buckingham Palace. And I knew this is where I wanted to be for the main event.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

And then the Changing of the Guard began with one guard pacing while the other sternly kept his posture. Part 2 of Changing of the Guard…
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Have you been to the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace? 

. . . Read More . . .

Walk Across London’s Abbey Road and Stand in a Red Phone Booth
Attend a Proper British Afternoon Tea in London
See the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Part 2)
12 Tips for Navigating the London Underground
Take a Spin on the London Eye
Stroll Through London’s Hyde Park
Learn Sign Language While Drinking at the Oldest Wine Bar in London




2017-03-11T17:25:26+00:00 May 21st, 2012|Categories: England, Europe, TOP PICKS, TRAVEL|Tags: , |

40 Comments

  1. Jeremy Branham May 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Nice photos.  That's quite a lot of people.  I wonder if it is always like this for the Changing of the Guard.  I will have to check Part 2 to see the rest of the photos.  You definitely got good "seats" for the show so I will remember to get there early if I want to see this. 

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm - Reply

      We were actually there during off-season. It’s hard to imagine, but I bet there are more people when it is actually warm out.

  2. avikingtravels May 21, 2012 at 11:44 pm - Reply

    Just came across your blog and I am absolutely in love with it. Your writing is great and encouraging! I'll be back (to say it with Arnold Schwarzenegger's words)

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures May 22, 2012 at 7:04 am - Reply

     

    What awesome shots!

  4. Alyx May 22, 2012 at 11:14 am - Reply

    What a cool experience! I have never been to Buckingham Palace, but I would love to go someday! 

  5. jardness May 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Oh my.. don't know when I'll ever afford to go there. hu hu hu

  6. ashley May 22, 2012 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    How cool is that! I would love to be able to see this in person.
    – ashley

  7. Nisha May 23, 2012 at 2:57 am - Reply

    I knew there are always many people, mostly tourists waiting for the change of guards, so that's not a surprise. 
    Waiting for part 2 to see some more amazing photos. This place has always eluded me. 🙁

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 23, 2012 at 6:44 am - Reply

      I knew there would be a lot of people, but since we were there in off-season I thought there would be less than what I saw. Silly me 😉

  8. Vanessa May 23, 2012 at 10:24 am - Reply

    I've been to BP but in the winter time only. The guards were wearing thick grey coats instead of red ones and I was very disappointed. On my next trip to London I'll make sure to see the Changing of the Guard

  9. Melissa May 24, 2012 at 10:38 am - Reply

    Great shots.  I saw the changing of the guard for the first time last year when my mom came to visit me and then again earlier this year when a friend came to London.   Oh also I don't think London really follows 'off seasons', there are tourists here ALL the time.

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey May 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm - Reply

      I bet there are plenty of tourists there all year long, but not as many as are going to be there for the Olympics! I’m sure all of the attractions will be doubly packed.

  10. Amanda @ Adventures All Around May 25, 2012 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Wow.. I had no idea how many people now turned out to watch. I saw it years ago, when I just happened to be pottering past, and there was hardly anyone else there. Maybe because it was a such cold day? Or last century? Who knows… but now I'm feeling lucky to have seen it by chance one morning.

  11. Hoellenzwang May 29, 2012 at 7:21 am - Reply

     
    Changing of the guards
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv3UUW32KS0

  12. Arianwen June 12, 2012 at 8:18 am - Reply

    I can't believe I've lived in London 6 years and still haven't seen the changing of the guard! And it looks so cool from your photos! Something needs to be done about this! 🙂

  13. […] ingest some of the deliciousness that was seen, we got caught up with the excitement of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and time slipped […]

  14. […] I woke up way to early to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London, but every photo taken says it was the right decision. My […]

  15. […] ingest some of the deliciousness that was seen, we got caught up with the excitement of the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and time slipped […]

  16. […] A Proper British Afternoon Tea in London→ ←Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Part 1) […]

  17. […] of sites can be seen from the London Eye; Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Alexandra Palace, Hampton Court and so many […]

  18. […] statuesque horses, kings with crowns and of course a moat. Sort of like how I felt seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Sort of. But, maybe I have seen too many fairytales or may I was just visiting a few […]

  19. […] statuesque horses, kings with crowns and of course a moat. Sort of like how I felt seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. Sort of. But, not quite. Maybe I have seen too many fairytales or may I was just […]

  20. […] Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, Part I from Bucket List Journey […]

  21. Andy May 14, 2013 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Great pictures and a real insight for anyone planning to turn up at the Palace ten minutes before the ceremony thinking they will get near to railings or on the steps of the Victoria Memorial.

  22. Andy June 4, 2013 at 12:37 am - Reply

    Should you get back, contact me through changing-guard.com and I will send you ‘walk with the guards, a walk that lets you see a lot more of the ceremony and some great photo ops.

    • Annette White June 4, 2013 at 7:36 am - Reply

      That would be great! I’ll let you know if I make it back.

  23. […] of sites can be seen from the London Eye; Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Alexandra Palace, Hampton Court and so many […]

  24. […] Have a Proper British Afternoon Tea in London→ ←See the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace (Part 1) […]

  25. […] Read More > See the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London […]

  26. […] The Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace  […]

Leave A Comment