London: Horse Guards Parade

Aug 20th, 2003, 05:27 PM
Posts: n/a
London: Horse Guards Parade

Any rants or raves? Any tips for viewing or photos? Are the times still good?

Basic info found below:

Horse Guards Building, Whitehall, SW1
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross

Horse Guards Parade was built in 1745 to house the old palace guards. Every day, as part of the Changing of the Guard ceremony, the two mounted cavalry regiments of the Queen's Household Regiments take part in the ceremony known as Horse Guards Parade.

You can usually get a better view of this ceremony than of the one that takes place outside Buckingham Palace. The Horse Guards Parade happens daily at 11am on Mondays-Saturdays and 10am on Sundays.

It takes place outside the Horse Guards Building on Whitehall. However, it is popular so you have to arrive early to secure a good place.

Bells from a tower sound, trumpets blow and the sound of horse's hooves on the pavement signal the change of the Guard. The night guards, mounted on their horses, with their elegant red capes and shiny helmets, wait for their relief. The day guards, dressed in dark blue ride along the Mall between Horse Guards Parade and Hyde Park.

The column stops once the two troops assemble in front of each other. Then the night guard commandant steps forward and meets the day guard commandant to tell him the news of the previous night.

Finally, the night guards leave and the day guards take their positions.
Aug 20th, 2003, 06:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 640
IMHO: The Horse Guards ceremony is better than that at Buckingham Palace--at the very least, it is more accessible and less crowded. At the Palace, during the summer tourist season, it is difficult to get a good view of the ceremony (early arrivals are crunched against the fence). Horse Guards site is more open.

And, again, personal opinion, I find the Queen's Life Guards* ceremony more unique, if that's not redundant. I've seen marching bands and soldiers in other places, but have not seen anything similar to the mounted guards ceremony.

*the real name of the horse
guards unit

After the ceremony, you can see a horse and guard close up along Whitehall (road)

I believe the dates/times you listed are accurate.

Dave White
[email protected]

KidsToLondon is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 04:01 AM
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Dave, thanks for the input. I agree with you. I saw this one on a previous trip, but really didn't understand exactly what I was looking at - just knew it was fun to watch.
Aug 21st, 2003, 02:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,609
Not having seen the better known and more crowded Changing, I can't compare them, but I was very pleased with the dismount of the Horse Guards. I didn't feel cheated, at all.

I must have taken 15 pictures (with no one in front of me and easy to move around). A couple of them are at the bottom of

You will notice that the people on the far side are looking through a fence, but on my side (near the arch theough the building) there was no obstruction.

Keith is offline  
Aug 21st, 2003, 06:30 PM
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Keith, good photos. Looks like you enjoyed yourself on the trip.
Aug 22nd, 2003, 08:52 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 89
The changing of the Horse Guards was unique, we happend upon it our first afternoon in London. We were not planning on seeing it until later in our trip, but it just worked out that we saw it that day. It was a weekend in July and sort of crowded, but nothing like Buck Palace, which was fun in it's own way also. I recommend doing both of the ceremonies if time permits. If I am not mistaken, it also takes place at 4 in the afternoon.
jenstu13 is offline  

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