Changing the Guard will take place at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle on the following days:
February 2014 - even days (ie 2, 4, 6, etc.)
March 2014 - even days (2, 4, 6, etc.) PLUS 31 March
April 2014 - every day
May 2014 - every day
June 2014 - every day
February 2014 - odd days (1, 3, 5, etc.) PLEASE NOTE there will be NO MUSICAL SUPPORT on 9 and 23 February
March 2014 - odd days (1, 3, 5, etc.) PLEASE NOTE there will be NO MUSICAL SUPPORT on 9 and 23 March
April 2014 - every day (except 18 and 20 April). PLEASE NOTE there will be NO MUSICAL SUPPORT on 3 April
May 2014 - every day. PLEASE NOTE there will be NO MUSICAL SUPPORT on 4,11, 18, 25 and 31 May
PLEASE NOTE there will be NO MUSICAL SUPPORT on 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 22 and 29 June
Changing the Guard or Guard Mounting is the process involving a new guard exchanging duty with the old guard.
The Guard which mounts at Buckingham Palace is called The Queen’s Guard and is divided into two Detachments: the Buckingham Palace Detachment (which is responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace), and the St. James’s Palace Detachment, (which guards St. James’s Palace). These guard duties are normally provided by a battalion of the Household Division and occasionally by other infantry battalions or other units.
When Guardsmen are on duty, the soldiers are drawn from one of the five regiments of Foot Guards in the British Army: the Scots Guards, the Irish Guards, the Welsh Guards, the Grenadier Guards and the Coldstream Guards.
The five Regiments may be recognised as follows:
Grouping of buttons
Plume on bearskin cap
White, worn on left side
Red, worn on right side
Blue, worn on right side
Green and white, worn on left side
The Queen’s Guard is commanded by a Captain (who usually holds the rank of Major), and each Detachment is commanded by a Lieutenant. The Colour of the Battalion providing the Guard is carried by a Second Lieutenant (who is known as the Ensign).
The handover is accompanied by a Guards band. The music played ranges from traditional military marches to songs from films and musicals and even familiar pop songs.
When The Queen is in residence, there are four sentries at the front of the building. When she is away there are two.
The Queen's Guard usually consists of Foot Guards in their full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins. If they have operational commitments, other infantry units take part instead.
Units from Commonwealth realms occasionally take turn in Guard Mounting. In May 1998, Canadian soldiers from Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry mounted guard at Buckingham Palace for the first time since the Coronation in 1953.
Household Troops have guarded the Sovereign and the Royal Palaces since 1660. Until 1689, the Sovereign lived mainly at the Palace of Whitehall and was guarded there by Household Cavalry.
In 1689, the court moved to St James's Palace, which was guarded by the Foot Guards. When Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace in 1837, the Queen's Guard remained at St James's Palace, with a detachment guarding Buckingham Palace, as it still does today.
At Buckingham Palace, Guard Mounting takes place at 11.30 am. It is held daily from May to July, and on alternate dates throughout the rest of the year.
Buckingham Palace is not the only place to see Guard Mounting.
At Windsor Castle, the ceremony takes place at 11.00 am. For most of the year Guard Mounting takes place on alternate dates, but it is held daily (except Sundays) from April to July.
At Horse Guards Arch, Changing the Guard takes place daily at 11.00 am (10.00 am on Sundays) and lasts about half an hour; it is normally held on Horse Guards Parade by the arch of Horse Guards Building.
There is no Guard Mounting in very wet weather.
Changing the Guard app available
Made with full support of the Household Division, a Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace app is now available from iTunes.
The app aims to orientate, inform and entertain people waiting for and watching the Changing the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace. It can be purchased for 69p.
Features include an interactive map which locates the user in the vicinity of Buckingham Palace, behind-the-scenes interviews with Guardsmen and a handy checklist for identifying the five footguards regiments of the Household Division.
A donation from the proceeds of the app will be given to the Household Division Charities.
Further information, including a video of the app may be viewed on the Royal Collection website by clicking here.