Changing the Guard at St James’ Palace Postcard

This week we start looking at a short run of four different postcards looking at the ceremonial military life of the capital, London. The Army has been providing ceremonial guards across the city for centuries, most of which have evolved from legitimate military functions protecting vulnerable people or buildings into the ceremonial duties we see today. The first of these postcards takes us to St James’ Palace, a Tudor royal palace situated on the Mall in London and the changing of the guard ceremony here:

Here we can see the Grenadier Guards (distinguished by the white hackle on their bearskin hats) lined up awaiting the ceremony to start. They are wearing their red tunics and have white leather equipment with black oilskin knapsacks on their back indicating a late Victorian or Edwardian scene:

Also to be seen are senior officers, both mounted and on foot:

The backdrop for this scene is the Friary Court in St James’ Palace which looks little different today:

The modern ceremony takes place across three sites, St James’ Palace, Wellington Barracks and Buckingham Palace. The following and the part of the ceremony at St James’ Palace runs as follows:

Friary Court, Marlborough Road London London SW1A 1BG. The first troop movements for the Changing of the Guard ceremony take place at St. James’ Palace.

10:25 The St James’ Palace Detachment of The Queen’s Guard form up for inspection on Friary Court

During the inspection the St James’s Palace Band play a selection of music.

10:43 The Guards, normally led by a Regimental Band or Corp of Drums, step off to march down The Mall to Buckingham Palace.

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