I’m only telling you this because I love you: Changing the Guard, sometimes called Guard Mounting, is an underwhelming use of 40 minutes of your time. Arrive at Buckingham Palace at least 45 minutes ahead if you don’t want to face the backs of other tourists—Buckingham Palace sells a $1 smartphone app that will help decode the ritual. A marching band advances from Birdcage Walk (often, playing themes from Star Wars, West Side Story, or ABBA—so much for traditional English customs), then members of the Queen’s Life Guard—two if the Queen’s away, three or four if she’s in—do a change around their sentry boxes. And that’s it, give or take additional prancing. It's something only tourists do, which isn't a compliment.
Changing the Guard
Buckingham Palace, London
Our Rating Neighborhood Green Park Hours 11:30am daily in May–July, and every other day in other months, cancelled in heavy rain Transportation Tube: Green Park, St. James’s Park, or Victoria Prices Free Web site Royal.gov.uk
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