Royal Navy sailors are to perform the Changing the Guard, often also referred to as the Changing of the Guard, at Buckingham Palace for the first time in the ceremony’s 357 year history. The sailors will also perform Royal Duties at St James’s Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London.
There will be 86 sailors from 45 different Royal Navy ships performing the ceremony after months of preparation at their headquarters in Portsmouth. Lt Cdr Steve Elliott will be Captain of the Queen’s Guard. He is believed to be the first in the Royal Navy since Sir Walter Raleigh in 1587.
The Changing the Guard ceremony is usually carried out by one of the Foot Guard Regiments in their red military tunics. 2018 is set to be marked as the ‘Year of the Navy’ which is why there’s a change.
The Changing the Guard is the ceremony where one set of guards hands over the responsibility of protecting Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace to the New Guard.
The Old Guard march at 11am from Buckingham Palace accompanied by their regimental band, and the New Guard then marches from Wellington Barracks to take over. They also march with their regimental band.
The ceremony can be traced back to the time of King Henry VII which was when the role of a royal bodyguard was first created, however, the ceremony itself has been taken place since the restoration of King Charles II in 1660.