We were told that the crowds might be less if we watched the guards marching from st James to buckingham. True? If so, what is the time period. Thanks
Here are a couple of links to the official Household Cavalry website for details.
I also like to go to the Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk which is where they form up. You can watch their inspection and listen to the band for a bit. That starts around 1030 and they leave to march across the street to Buckingham Palace at about 5 or 6 minutes until 11.
We watched at St. James Palace as the RS guide recommends, and enjoyed it. There was still a bit of a crowd, but nothing like the masses at Buckingham Palace. A couple of guided walking tours came there with perhaps a dozen customers each.
Important: when you stake out your spot, make sure you are on the sidewalk and not in the roadway. Police officers on horseback come by shortly before the action starts (at the outset and also when the troops return from Buckingham) and order people standing in the roadway to move. They are quite strict about ensuring that the spectators who legitimately stood on the sidewalk do not get crowded out by the would-be roadway cheaters.