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The Queen's Foot Guards

Foot guardFive regiments of the British Army form the Queen's Foot Guards
They are:

        • The Grenadier Guards
        • The Coldstream Guards
        • The Scots Guards
        • The Irish Guards
        • The Welsh Guards


The Queen's Guard are responsible for guarding Buckingham Palace and St. James's Palace in London. They usually consist of Foot Guards (guards on foot) wearing full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins (hats).

From a distance the full dress uniforms worn by the men of the five Regiments of Foot Guards look identical, but look closley and you will spot the differences!

Buckingham Palace

When The Queen is in residence, there are four Foot Guards at the front of the building; when she is away there are two.

Buckingham Palace

Changing of the Guard

The Queen's Guard changes in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace at 11.30 am, and lasts about 45 minutes. There is no Guard Mounting in very wet weather.

During the autumn and winter, Guard Mounting takes place on alternate days, but it is held daily during spring and summer.

Please note that in August you might not see the soldiers wearing the red uniforms as often other regiments guard the Queen during this month. Also during wet or cold weather the guards wear grey coats

St James's Palace

When Queen Victoria moved into Buckingham Palace in 1837, the Queen's Guard remained at St James's Palace, with a detachment guarding Buckingham Palace, as it still does today.

The Queen's Guard changes at St James's Palace at 11:00am prior to marching to Buckingham Palace.

Questions asked by visitors to our website

CrownWhy does the Queen have so many guards?

Foot GuardThe Queen is a very important person. Most of the guards are there for ceremonial purposes.

Buckingham Palace also contains its own police station, and the Royal Family have their own protection officers at all times.

How many guards are there for Buckingham Palace?
How many are on duty at one time?

When The Queen is in residence, there are four Foot Guards at the front of the building; when she is away there are two. Altogether the Guard consists of three officers and 36 soldiers.

What are the guards that stand in front of the castle wearing red coats and those large black fur hats?
Are they called sentries or just guards?

They are called the Queen's Guard. They consists of Foot Guards in full-dress uniform of red tunics and bearskins (hats).

How come the Queen's Guards do not move?

Traditionally the Queen's Guards are not allowed to move. Typically, a Guardsman spends two hours on duty and four off. He is not expected to stand still for any more than ten minutes at a time. Every so often, he will march up and down in front of his sentry box, rather like a policeman "walking the beat".

Where to now?

Find out about the differences in the Foot Guard uniforms


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