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Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace
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Changing the Guard at Buckingham PalaceAt 11 a.m., the St James's Palace detachment of the Old Guard forms up in Friary Court at St James's Palace. After inspection by the Captain of The Queen's Guard, the Drummers beat the call 'The Point of War' as the Colour is brought on.

Then, led by their Corps of Drums, the St James's detachment marches off via Stable Yard Gate and proceeds along The Mall to Buckingham Palace.

Meanwhile the Buckingham Palace detachment of the Old Guard falls in and is inspected. The detachment then marches to the centre of the Palace Forecourt to await the arrival of the remainder of the Old Guard.

Entering the Forecourt by the South Centre Gate, the St James's detachment forms up on the right of the Buckingham Palace Guard. The Old Guard is then complete and awaits the arrival of the New Guard.

At 11.30 the New Guard, led by their Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, marches into the Palace Forecourt via the North Centre Gate. The New Guard marches to a central position, then executes a left-form and halts facing the Old Guard. Supervised by the Drill Sergeant, the New Guard then dresses by the right, the Band and Corps of Drums forming up behind the Guard.

The New Guard then advances in slow time towards the Old Guard and halts. Both Guards present arms. During this present- arms the Ensign do not lower the Colours.
Both Guards having paid each other military compliments, the Captains of the Guard bring their swords from the salute to the carry position and march towards each other to carry out the symbolic ceremony of handing over the Palace Keys. The responsibility for the security and safety of the Palace and its occupants thus passes from the Old Guard to the New Guard.

The officers of the Buckingham Palace detachments both Guards salute the Senior Captain on parade with their swords and, with the Senior NCOs, proceed to the guardroom to hand over and take over respectively.

Having done this they report once more to the Senior Captain. During the hand-over the Ensigns, with the Colours, patrol at the rear.

Officers with no direct involvement in the ceremony fall out and walk up and down informally on the west side of the Guards.

The Captains of the Guard go into the Palace to receive any special orders for the day and then rejoin the main ceremony. When each new sentry is posted, complete orders are read to him by the Corporal.

Having posted new sentries at Buckingham Palace the relieved sentries march into the Forecourt and complete the Old Guard.

At 12.05 the Guards are re-formed and brought to attention. The Old Guard advances until level with the Centre Gate, at which point it right-forms, becoming a column of route. Compliments are paid to the Old Guard's Colour by the New Guard, and are returned. Once clear of the Centre Gate the Old Guard, led by the Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, right-wheels and then breaks into quick time. The Old Guard is now on its way back to barracks.

The New Guard now slopes arms at the order of the Captain. It is henceforth referred to as the Queen's Guard. The Buckingham Palace detachment stands fast as the St James's Palace detachment turns right. The Queen's Guard is thus split and the St James's detachment marches off. At Friary Court the Colour is marched off and lodged in the St James's Palace guardroom. Meanwhile the Buckingham Palace detachment marches off to its own guardroom.


Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace

A Drum Major on duty at the Guard Changing ceremony.

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