Viewing Changing of Guard

Reply

Sep 23rd, 2004, 07:47 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 36
Viewing Changing of Guard

This Tues. I plan to witness the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. I'm aware of the recommended spots to stand (at the gate or at the Victoria monument). Yet, I'm wondering about the possibility & practicality of standing alongside The Mall to get photos of the guard & the band as they approach Buckingham Palace, and then immediately walking to Birdcage Walk to get photos as the other contingent of guard & band approaches. And THEN to stand near the monument to see whatever I can of the ensuing ceremony.
Perhaps at the end of the 40 minute ceremony, I could have moved again to The Mall (?) to see the departing guards. (Isn't it true that they depart via The Mall to St. James Palace?)
Also,is it possible I'd have time to watch about the first 5 or 10 minutes of the 11:00 Changing of the Guard at the Whitehall Horse Guards Parade and then immediately walk to The Mall to see the Guard & band approaching Buckingham Palace?
mikemcd77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2004, 07:36 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,880
The only way all of that is possible is if you're Superman - faster than a speeding bullet - and flying rather than on foot.

All of these areas will be mobbed. All of the good viewing spots will be taken far in advance. You will be lucky to get one - unless you're very early. If you leave it you will literally have to sprint (Olympic speed) to the next place - which will then already be full. So, unless you're prepared to push/elbow a lot of other people out of your way - don't plan on it.
nytraveler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2004, 07:53 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,525
Hi,
I've been twice. First time saw almost nothing because got there just a little early, stood behind people at the gates and some a flash of some guy wearing red. Second time got there 1 -1 1/2 hrs early, stood at monument and saw them come along road and enter palace. Not very comfortable (standing for all this time), lots of people, pushing to see...for what turned out to be a short ceremony. So if you really want to go...go early, stake out a spot, expect people to try to get in front of you...Also saw Horse Guards and it was much better and not crowded at all.

Everybody wants to see the ceremony at Buckingham, part of the marketing of London and royalty...but I think if you asked people who went if they would go again or recommend it....may not be quite as overwhelmingly positive. But...I can understand that its something people going to London feel they must do..
Enjoy the ceremony,
Mike
Michel_Paris is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2004, 08:37 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 6
I was in London this spring - and took my husband to the changing of the guards, which I had seen before. We both enjoyed the experience, but if you are looking for ceremony, try the Ceremony of the Keys. You are actually locked in to the Tower of London at night and stand close by as the guards go through the very ceremony that they have been doing for hundreds of years. I have been to London several times and still haven't made it inside the Tower of London, but this was awesome and a fun way to visit at least the exterior..
see this website: http://www.londontown.com/London/Ceremony_of_the_Keys/
sjda is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2004, 09:42 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
I love a good parade. I love pageantry. I love pomp and circumstance. But my suggestion for the Changing of the Guard is to be sure to load up on caffeine or take some "no-Doz" tablets to keep you awake through this incredibly drawn out and boring "ceremony".
Patrick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2004, 01:13 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 109
I agree with the last post. However, if one really wants to see (and hear) a real ceremony, get on a train to Slough/Windsor and observe the changing of the guard at Windsor Castle.
Mthomp77 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2004, 02:55 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 13,323
Check out the Whitehall Horse Guards Parade and skip the rest.
degas is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2004, 01:57 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 2
Mike: Was in London last month and would suggest that instead of fighting the crowd at the gates after arriving an hour early, you watch at the Wellington Barracks.

The barracks are just a block away on Birdcage Walk across from St. James Park.

The band and the guard assembles there a little before eleven and you can watch them march out playing with a much more reasonable crowd. The day we were the it was the Irish Guard and the were accompanied by their Irish Wolfhound in his own scarlet cloak.
NewOrleansGrammie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 27th, 2004, 01:15 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,414
Of all the things to do in London, it seems to me, the changing of the guard is one of the biggest wastes of time. Standing around for upwards of two hours to watch a couple of guys get off work just isn't that big a thrill. The band goes by in a hurry. There were some much better suggestions here.

Bill
wojazz3 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 27th, 2004, 05:27 PM
  #10
vcl
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 499
Mike:
Don't listen to the folk who say the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is a waste; every visitor should see it at least once.
I admit, we don't go every time we visit London, but we certainly make it a part of every trip on which we introduce new visitors to the city.
Do take the advice to go early, stake out your spot and prepare to use your longest lens.
vcl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 27th, 2004, 07:48 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
I'm just amazed that I'm not the only one who thought it was such a big snooze. For years I kept my mouth shut figuring I'd be stoned for suggesting it isn't the most exciting thing in the world. It isn't!
Patrick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 27th, 2004, 08:27 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 140
For several years, I kept "missing" this ceremony. One time, it was due to a bomb threat, another it was due to an injured soilder, etc.

I was beginning to think the entire ceremony was an elaborate urban legend.

When I finally did see it (with a decent view, by the way) my reaction was a resounding, "Oh." Then, I went to get some lunch.

Unless you are really, really into this type of thing, I'd agree with person who recommended the key ceremony at the tower was more interesting.

But, yes, if you must go, go really, really early.
travdog is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:17 AM.