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Changing of the Guard, view at St. James Palace logistics question

Thank you in advance for your info. I have asked many questions in preparation for our trip and I appreciate all the advice.

We are planning to see the Changing of the Guard in London on June 23 (my daughter's 18th birthday!). While the pomp and circumstance look fun to see, the thought of fighting with lots of people and being crammed in waiting does not. Therefore I'm thinking (if my daughter agrees, which I think she will) we will watch the St. James contingent instead.

I'm trying to figure out how it all works and where guards leave from and return to. If I read things correctly, for what I want to do, the guards line up at St. James Palace at 10:30 to be inspected and then depart with a band to head towards Buckingham Palace. I assume they gather in the big open area in front of the Palace off of Marlborough Road (I've never been to London). I'm thinking we will watch the inspection and then follow along walking until the crowds become unbearable closer to Buckingham Palace and split off to head to Hyde Park.

What time should we get to St. James Palace to get a good spot? 10:00?


Posted by
32228 posts

Have you considered going to Horseguards where you get all the pomp, add horses and deduct huge crowds? The silver breastplates are worth seeing even if you don't like horses (who doesn't love horses?) but if it is a sunny day take sunglasses because the sun (what's sun?) may glint off them.

I much prefer Horseguards.