do the guards at buckingham palace stay all night


As an avid traveler and history enthusiast, I have always been fascinated by the traditions and customs of the British Royal Family. One question that has always puzzled me is whether the guards at Buckingham Palace stay all night. In this article, I will delve into this intriguing topic and provide you with all the information you need to satisfy your curiosity.

The Changing of the Guard

One of the most iconic traditions at Buckingham Palace is the Changing of the Guard ceremony. This ritual, which takes place in front of the palace, involves the Old Guard handing over the responsibility of protecting the palace to the New Guard. The ceremony is a grand and elaborate affair, complete with military bands and precision marching. It is a must-see for tourists visiting London.

The Role of the Guards

The guards stationed at Buckingham Palace are a part of the British Army and are known as the Queen’s Guard. They are responsible for protecting the royal residences, including Buckingham Palace, St. James’s Palace, and the Tower of London. The guards are highly trained soldiers who take their duties very seriously. They are a symbol of the monarchy and play a crucial role in maintaining the security and ceremonial traditions of the Royal Family.

Guarding Buckingham Palace

When it comes to Buckingham Palace, the guards are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They stand watch at the palace gates and are a visible presence for both locals and tourists. The guards are known for their distinctive red tunics and bearskin hats, which have become synonymous with the image of Buckingham Palace.

Do the Guards Stay All Night?

The short answer is yes. The guards at Buckingham Palace do stay all night. Even in the darkest hours, when most people are asleep, the Queen’s Guard remains vigilant. They take turns standing on duty in shifts, ensuring that the palace is always protected. It is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their role as guardians of the royal residences.

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The Changing of the Guard Schedule

If you want to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony, it is important to know the schedule. The ceremony usually takes place on alternate days, depending on the month. During the winter months, the ceremony occurs every other day, while in the summer, it takes place daily. It is a good idea to check the official schedule before planning your visit to Buckingham Palace to avoid disappointment.


How many guards are stationed at Buckingham Palace?

There are usually four guards on duty at the main entrance of Buckingham Palace. However, there are also guards stationed at other entrances and key points around the palace grounds.

What happens if someone tries to approach the guards?

The guards are trained to remain still and not react to distractions or provocations. If someone tries to approach them or disrupt their duty, the police on duty at the palace will intervene.

Do the guards ever smile or interact with the public?

The guards are known for their stoic and unflinching demeanor, which includes not smiling or engaging with the public. They maintain a professional and serious appearance at all times.

What qualifications do the guards at Buckingham Palace have?

The guards are members of the British Army, specifically the Household Division. They undergo rigorous training and are selected for their discipline, professionalism, and military skills.

Do the guards at Buckingham Palace carry live ammunition?

It is a common misconception that the guards carry live ammunition. In reality, the guns they carry are loaded with blank rounds. However, they are fully capable of using lethal force if the need arises.


In conclusion, the guards at Buckingham Palace play a crucial role in protecting the royal residences, including Buckingham Palace. They are on duty 24/7, standing guard through the night to ensure the safety and security of the palace. The Changing of the Guard ceremony is a time-honored tradition that showcases the precision and discipline of the Queen’s Guard. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Buckingham Palace, make sure to witness this impressive display of military prowess and dedication.

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