These are some of the most frequently asked questions others have asked about the Changing of the Guard ceremonies, Ceremonial Events and the Palaces and Castles the Guards protect.
Click images to browse by topic or scroll down to questions and answers...
Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace does not take place every day.
The current schedules are:
Always check the confirmed schedule, to avoid disappointment, as dates and times can change an on occasions the Guard Mount without music or ceremony.
No Tickets or booking are required to watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace or Horse Guards Parade
However, tickets are required to watch the Windsor Castle Guard change as the ceremony takes place within the precincts of the castle.
The dates and times are normally confirmed by the British Army around the middle of the preceding month.
i.e. August dates for Changing the Guard would be confirmed in July.
Most people head for Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing the Guard, but the ceremony actually takes place between three locations - Buckingham Palace, St. James's Palace and Wellington Barracks.
Our where to watch page provides more information and suggestions.
Although ceremonial duties are an important part of Army history and tradition, all the Foot Guards you see Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle are first and foremost highly trained infantry soldiers who play an important part in military operations worldwide.
Many of the men you see on public duties will have recently been deployed overseas.
The King's Guard at Buckingham Palace consists of 3 officers and 40 men, when the Sovereign is in residence, otherwise it will comprise of 3 officers and 31 men.
When His Majesty The King is in residence you will see four sentries at the front of Buckingham Palace at other times there are two.
Full Mount means that the Band who accompany the New Guard, from Wellington Barracks to Buckingham Palace will, after the ceremony, lead the St James Palace Detachment from Buckingham Palace to St James’s Palace.
Full Dismount means the Band who led the St James's Palace detachment to Buckingham Palace stay with the Old Guard and lead them back to Wellington Barracks after the ceremony
In the British Army, women were not permitted to serve in close combat units (that is cavalry and infantry).
However, this changed in 2018 and women are now able to apply to join infantry and cavalry units.
They already serve in combat support units, which includes artillery, engineers, air support, logistic support and other branches of the service.
In April 2007, the first women in the British Army served on detachments of the Queen's Guard when the King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery took over the guard at Windsor Castle.
The King's Guard is the name given to the contingent of infantry responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace and St James's Palace (including Clarence House).
The King's Life Guard are the cavalry troops who stand guard at Horse Guards, the official entrance to Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace.
The Changing of the Guard takes place on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and as such the only places to view the ceremony are from the public footpaths in front of the Palace railings or from the Victoria Memorial.
Sadly as these are public footpaths there are no dedicated areas for wheelchair users.
However, in my experience, the best way to get a good view is to talk to one of the very friendly policemen on duty in front of the Palace as they are very helpful and adept at getting wheel chair users and those who need assistance into a position by the gates where they can see the ceremony.
A second option, which is less crowded is to head for Horse Guards Parade where The Queen's Life Guard mount daily at 11:00 Monday to Saturday and 10:00 on Sundays.
The parade ground is a level surface, covered in gravel, and there are no railings between visitors and the men and horses mounting the guard.
No, there is no public access to the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.
The St. James Palace detachment of the Old Guard, normally led by a Band, march down The Mall to Buckingham Palace.
The New Guard, led by a Band, will march along Birdcage Walk, from Wellington Barracks to the Palace.
Maps, showing the routes 'The Guards' take before, during and after the Changing the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace, can be found here.
Bright colours provided a means of distinguishing friend from foe without significantly adding risk to the individual soldier as armies, in years gone by, formed up facing each other in ranks and columns on the battlefield where they engaged each other with volley fire, from muskets.
Some say the red coats, of the British troops, made it difficult for enemy spotters to count their strength because red, which is the hardest colour to see, merges into one at a distance.
While another popular myth was that blood would not show on the red tunics and demoralise the other troops.
Cost was probably the real reason as the dyeing process required, for red, involved only one stage and red pigment was readily available.
In 1658 the British redcoat made its first appearance at the Battle of the Dunes and the last time British soldiers wore red coats on the battlefield was at the Battle of Gennis in the Sudan in 1885.
Scarlet tunics continued to be issued until the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
The Brigade of Guards resumed wearing their scarlet dress uniforms in 1920 but for the remainder of the army red coats were only authorised for wear by Regimental Bands and Officers in mess dress.
The bearskin cap's worn by the worn by the five regiments of Foot Guards are 18 inches, (45.72cm), tall and weigh 1.5 pounds, (453grm).
Horse Guards, which faces Whitehall, is the official entrance to the Court of St James's and Buckingham Palace.
Since the Restoration of King Charles II in 1660 there have been Life Guards on duty at Horse Guards and you can see the King's Life Guard change daily on Horse Guards Parade.
It is not possible to see the Changing of the Guard from the State Rooms or the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
The reason is that the State Apartments are mainly in the West wing of the Palace, while Changing the Guard takes place on the forecourt in front of the East wing.
With the average tour, of the State Rooms and gardens, lasting around two hours and first admissions at 09:45, the answer, if you want to do both on the same day, is to visit Changing the Guard first.
Tickets in the seated stands, on Horse Guards Parade, for Trooping the Colour, The Major General's Review and The Colonel's Review are available to the public,
Due to demand tickets for The King's Birthday Parade are allocated by ballot which you can enter between January and February.
Tickets to the Major General's Review and The Colonel's Review can be purchased online between January and February.
Find out more about Trooping the Colour and how to apply for tickets
You can also see the parades from The Mall and from the edge of St James's Park facing Horse Guards Parade without tickets.
Sorry to say the answer is no!
The only way is to get tickets to The King's Birthday Parade is to apply online between January and February.
The reason for this is that the demand for tickets normally exceeds the number of places available in the seated stands.
We understand it can be frustrating, but the Household Division adopted this policy as a way to give every applicant an equal chance.
Gun salutes are fired on the following Royal anniversaries:
Gun salutes are also fired to mark Royal births and when a visiting Head of State meets the King in London.
Learn more about Gun Salutes and how many rounds are fired depending on the occasion and firing point for the Guns.
Tickets for Beating Retreat are sold online or in person from the Guards Museum in Birdcage Walk.
Tickets for Beating Retreat 2020 will be on sale from December 2019.
For the State Opening of Parliament The King travels by horse drawn carriage along the Royal Route from Buckingham Palace to the Palace of Westminster.
Find out about the State Opening of Parliament, including a map of the Royal Route.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II owned two homes, these are Balmoral Castle, in Scotland and Sandringham House, in Norfolk.
Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, where The Soveriegn normally lives and works are owned by the nation.
Windsor Castle opening times are:
March - October - 09:30 Daily | Last admission 16:00 | Castle closes at 17:30
November - February - 09:45 Daily | Last admission 15:00 | Castle closes at 16:15.
December 25 -26 - Windsor Castle is closed
During State Visits or ceremonial occasions the Castle is sometimes closed to the public.
See more information including provisional closure dates for Windsor Castle.
It is not possible to see Changing the Guard from the State Rooms or the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
The reason is that the State Apartments are mainly in the West wing of the Palace, while Changing the Guard takes place in the forecourt in front of the East wing.
With the average tour, of the State Rooms and gardens lasting around two hours and first admissions at 09:45, the answer, if you want to do both on the same day, is to visit Changing the Guard first.