Following Government advice to avoid mass gatherings, the ceremony that usually accompanies the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace has been cancelled, say the British Army.

“Today the immaculate icons of the United Kingdom the Grenadier Guards took over their duties as the Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace without fuss or fanfare. Following Government advice to encourage social distancing and to avoid mass gatherings it has been agreed to cease temporarily the ceremonial that usually accompanies the Changing of the Guard.

An ‘Administrative Guard Mount’ is when the Old Guard hands over duties to the New Guard without music or ceremony and is a familiar occurrence when heavy rain falls or there’s a timing conflict with public events in the area. The soldiers’ operational role remains the same with sentries posted at the Palaces, ever watchful and ready.”

A statement on the ‘Change of the Guard’ website also reads:

“Due to the corona virus outbreak the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is not taking place. The Queen’s Guard still change, but the handover takes place inside the Guardroom and there will be no Band or ceremony to watch.”

What is Changing of the Guard?

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace is the ceremony where The Queen’s Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James’s Palace to the New Guard.

Normally Changing of the Guard, also known as Guard Mounting, takes place outside Buckingham Palace on certain days from 10.45amand lasts around 45 minutes, with the actual handover taking place at 11am.

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