Buckingham Palace is a marvelous place. The mere sight of this palace is breathe taking. Millions of tourist head to London every year to view the Palace and to experience the Changing of the Guard ceremony.
Before Buckingham Palace was sold to the Queen it belonged to George III in 1761. However, it was originally built by the Duke of Buckingham, hence the name Buckingham Palace. This house was built in 1702. The house is still is in top shape today due to numerous renovations. In 1837, Queen Victoria moved into the castle and once again renovations were made to the castle. Now, both the Queen and her husband reside there. The monarchy’s administrative work also happens there.
It has been the duty of the British army for many years to monitor and protect the Royal palace. There are foot guards and guards that ride horses. They are known as The Guard and The Queen’s Life Guard. There are five foot guards. They are Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Scots Guards, Irish Guards and Welsh Guards. The Guard are the infantry soldiers and their duties are to watch and protect the royal family in St. James Palace and Buckingham Palace. The Queen’s Life Guard are the cavalry and they ride the horses. They are mounted at the gates. These horses guard the entrances of both the Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace. The Life Guard remain on their horses from 10pm until 4pm. The next four hours are the standing guards, they remain posted at the gate and from 8pm until 7am the gates are locked.
Many people visit the palace every year. During this time the queen is not present. When the queen is present there are no visitors and the guards double in number. These are called the Long Guards. However, when the queen is not there during the summer months there aren’t as many Guards present. These are the Short Guards. The guard commander also known as the Captain of the Guards resides in St. James Palace and when he is present three of the Queen Guard are present, 40 other ranks and four sentries guarding the forecourt of both Palaces. At one point, the guards were posted on the outside of the gate to monitor the castle but this is no longer the case.
At the Horse Guard Parade is when the changing of the Guard Buckingham Palace take place. This Parade occurs at 11am in the morning at the forecourt of the Buckingham Palace. In the summer, Guards are changed everyday and in the winter, the Guards are changed every other day. This 45 minute ceremony is free to watch. The New Guard marches with the Guard Band from the Wellington Barracks. After the Guard Band are inspected by the adjutant they play music while the new guard is then inspected. When the New Guard arrives to the Palace the old guard will take his place standing on the North side and the new Guard would stand on the South side. At that point, the old guard will hand over during ceremony and the sentries are changed as well. Then the Old Guard will march out of Buckingham’s Palace in a slow march with the Corps of the Band. The band is then given a command to now pick up the pace and head back to the Barracks.
This is a great place to visit. Not only is the Changing of the Guard Buckingham Palace quite a treat, so is the palace itself. When the Queen is in Balmoral between August and September, the visitors view the nineteen rooms, gardens and ballrooms that make up the palace. In the front of the Palace is a solid gold statue of Queen Victoria. Inside, there is a ballroom dedicated to exhibitions of the Queen’s royal collection. The history of the castle dates back hundreds of years. Although, there has been many renovations to Palace, the front of it still remains very much the same.
Photo credit: Gabriel Villena