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Four O'Clock Parade at Horse Guards

Ceremonial London

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The Queen's Life Guard is provided by soldiers of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment stationed at Hyde Park Barracks. They stand guard at the site of the orignal gateway to the Royal Palaces. The Guard has been mounted here for over 300 years.

The Guard is found from soldiers of The Life Guards, who wear red tunics and white helmet plumes, and soldiers from The Blues and Royals, who wear dark blue tunics and red helmet plumes. They alternate daily at a formal 'Changing of the Guard' at 11am Monday to Saturday and 10am on Sunday. The ceremony lasts about half an hour and is normally held on Horse Guards Parade by the arch of Horse Guards Building.

At 4pm each day there is the Four O'Clock Parade, also known as the Dismounting Ceremony which takes place in the courtyard within the Horse Guards building and is also free to watch. The guards are inspected by an Officer and then the mounted guards take the horses back to the stables for the night. This is also known as the Punishment Parade as apparently back in 1894 Queen Victoria discovered the entire Guard drinking and gambling at four o'clock in the afternoon and ordered a daily inspection at this time which continues today.

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