The Blues and Royals at the Dismounting Ceremony - recognisable in their blue tunics and red plumed helmets
The Changing of the Guards ceremony is one of great displays of British pageantry. However it’s extremely popular, so why not avoid the crowds and as an alternative check out the lesser known but equally photogentic Punishment Parade?
The Dismounting Ceremony, to give it its official title, takes place daily at 4pm within the courtyard of Horse Guards. The tradition dates back to 1894 when it is said that Queen Victoria arrived one day without warning to find that her guards had failed to turn out when her carriage went passed, as they were drinking and gambling in the middle of the afternoon instead of guarding her palace. She then gave orders that the guards should be inspected daily for the next one hundred years. The tradition continues to this day although the timescale for this has passed.
There are two monuted guards at the entrance to Horse Guards every day from 10am to 4pm. The guards on duty belong to either the Lifeguards or the Blues and Royals, two of the most senior regiments in the British Army which make up the Household Cavalry.