While abroad you will inevitably, at one point or another, end up falling for a tourist trap or two. I am happy to say that most of my London sightseeing trips have not fallen into that category. But unfortunately, the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace most certainly did. It was one of those experiences where the only satisfaction I walked away with was the ability to say I have done it, to check it off the London list so to speak.
The Changing of the Guard is a procession that occurs at the royal residence every other day at 11:00am.It is essential the relieving of one set of the Queen’s guards by another. If you want a half decent few of the ceremony on a weekend you should probably be there by 10:00am or at the latest 10:15am. In my opinion though, the display is not worth the early wake up call. The marching and the music are hard to follow, you’re never quite sure what they are doing or why you are supposed to me impressed. The event is lacking in both the cohesion and sanctity I was expecting. On the day I went, I was shocked to hear the band played a botched version of the James Bond Goldfinger theme song. Despite being a huge history buff with a passion for tradition, I found the whole thing cheesy and poorly executed.
While it true that anyone who goes to London for a decent period of time should see Buckingham Palace, The Changing of the guard is miss-able. Go instead during an off peak hour. You’ll get a much better view of the space and won’t have to sit through the awkward hour-long uncomfortable display.
By: Joanie Jockel