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London Sights

Horse Guards Parade

  • Plaza/Square/Piazza

Updated 02/27/2014

Fodor's Review

Once the tiltyard for jousting tournaments, Horse Guards Parade is best known for the annual Trooping the Colour ceremony, in which the Queen takes the salute on her official birthday tribute, on the second Saturday in June. (Though it's called a birthday it's actually the anniversary of her coronation—the Queen's real birthday is on April 21.) It's a must-see if you're around, with marching bands and throngs of onlookers. Throughout the rest of the year the changing of two mounted sentries known as the Queen's Life Guard at the Whitehall facade of Horse Guards provides what may be London's most popular photo opportunity. The ceremony last about half an hour.

Sight Information


London, SW1A 2AX, England



Sight Details:

  • Changing of the Queen's Life Guard at 11 am Mon.–Sat. and 10 am Sun.; inspection of the Queen's Life Guard daily at 4 pm

Updated 02/27/2014


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Fodorite Reviews

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Jun 23, 2008

depends on what you're looking for

My 16 year old niece and I visited Horse Guards early evening, not for the changing ceremony but just to see the two guards stationed near the parade area guarding the building. My niece walked up to one of the guards who was extremely handsome and began talking to him. He was able to reply to her without making it obvious to onlookers that he was talking. Within about 10 minutes, he had asked my niece on a date and given her his cell phone number.

So for us, visiting Horse Guards was a real thrill!! (Aidan, we miss you!)

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Apr 2, 2008

It's a big parking lot

Saw the Changing of the Guard here. There are several soldiers sitting motionless on horseback in what amounts to a big parking lot, then a short burst of activity while the changing ceremony happens and the soldiers ride off. One one side is a building with a gate. Not really a must-see, but one could do worse.

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