London hosts high profile ceremonial events every year, including The King's Birthday Parade, Beating Retreat, The State Opening of Parliament, State Visits and more that epitomise the history, pomp and pageantry for which Britain is famous worldwide.
This quick guide to the State Occasions, Royal and Military Ceremonial Events that take place in London has links to lots more information including how to get tickets and where you can watch them from the sidelines.
Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, with the Foot Guards in their red tunics and iconic bearskin caps, is probably one of the best known ceremonial events in the world.
Changing The King's Life Guard takes place daily on Horse Guards Parade where the men and horses of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment stand guard at the official entrance to Buckingham and St. James's Palace.
Changing the Windsor Castle Guard takes place within the precincts of Windsor Castle, the oldest and largest continuously inhabited castle in the world, which is one of the King's three official residences.
Trooping the Colour, also known as the 'The King's Birthday Parade', takes place in June each year to mark the Sovereign's official birthday.
More than 1,400 officers and men and approximately 400 musicians from the Massed Bands of the Household Division take part in The King's Birthday Parade.
There are two full dress rehearsals, prior to The King's Birthday Parade, 'The Major General's Review' and 'The Colonel's Review', which gives visitors an opportunity to see a vibrant display of pomp and pageantry in these highlights of the ceremonial calendar.
Beating Retreat brings together music, guns, horses, precision drill, and fireworks to create an amazing sunset spectacular on Horse Guards Parade.
On two evenings in June, set against the backdrop of St James's Park, the Massed Bands of the Household Division and guest performers deliver a not to be missed pageant.
The Knights of the Garter gather at Windsor Castle, wearing their blue velvet robes and black velvet hats with white plumes, for the Garter Service every June.
The procession route is lined by troops from the Household Division and The King's historic bodyguards, including the Corps of Gentlemen, Yeoman Guards, Yeoman Warders, (Beefeaters), accompany the Knights. Find out how to get an invitation.
Gun Salutes mark special royal occasions including The King's Birthday and those of other senior members of the Royal Family.
In London, salutes by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, in either Hyde Park or Green Park and at the Tower of London by the Honourable Artillery Company.
Remembrance Sunday is a day for the nation to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves in two world wars and other conflicts, to secure and protect our freedom.
Every night, for about 700 years, the Yeoman Warders, often called Beefeaters, have performed a gate-closing ritual known as the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London.
Book early if you want to visit the Ceremony of the Keys!
The Guards Chapel is open to all members of the public Monday to Friday 10:00 – 16:00. The weekly Sunday Service is at 11am except on Remembrance Sunday when our service starts at 10:45am.
In addition to being the spiritual home of the Household Division the Guards Chapel hosts recitals and concerts throughout the year.
Scarlet and Gold presents a rare opportunity to see the Bands of The Household Division swap the parade square for the stage when they come together to present their annual concert.
Major General's Review - Sat 01 June 2024
The Colonel s Review - Sat 08 June 2024
King's Birthday Parade - Sat 15 June 2024
Beating Retreat - 16, 17 & 18 July 2024
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