Point of Interest

Horse Guards Parade

England / Europe

The official entrance to Buckingham Palace and ceremonial parade grounds for Trooping the Colour which occurs on the Queen’s birthday in June every year. Designed by William Kent in the 18th century, the building is guarded by two mounted troopers of the Queens Life Guard who are posted outside daily from 10am – 4pm. The Queens Life Guard is normally consisted of members of the Household Cavalry Mounted regiment, including a squadron from two of the most senior regiments in the British Arms; The Life Guards (wearing red tunics and white plumed helmets) and The Blues and Royals (wearing blue tunics and red plumed helmets). At 11am daily and 10am Sunday, Changing the Queens Life Guards take place in Horse Guards Parade. The Dismounting Ceremony, where the Guards are inspected by an Officer, takes place at 4pm in the courtyard. This tradition began in 1894 when Queen Victoria discovered the entire guard drinking while on duty and thus sentenced them to 100 years of 4pm inspections as punishment! Whilst the 100 years is now over, Queen Elizabeth II requested the parade to continue as a tradition. The Life Guards were formed by King Charles II from loyal followers who followed him in to exile. They have stood guard since his restoration to the Throne in 1660.  

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