The Changing of the Guard ceremony has taken place at Buckingham Palace for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The traditional ceremony which has been taking place since 1656, came to a standstill about 18 months ago to avoid drawing crowds during the lockdown. However, members of the public as well as groups of tourists gathered on Monday, August 23 to witness the event at the Buckingham Palace in London.
The new guard, the 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards were seen dressed in their scarlet tunics and bearskin hats as they matched from nearby Wellington Barracks to the palace to assume duty from the old guard, Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards.
The band of the Coldstream Guards played The Olympic Theme and Spandau Ballet’s Gold among others in honor of the success of the Team GB during the Olympics.
The Queen was however, not there to witness this spectacular event as she’s currently on her annual break at Balmoral in Scotland.
Garrison Sergeant Major Andrew Stokes, of the Coldstream Guards, who was in charge of the ceremony’s return said: ” Bearing in mind its been 18 months since we last did a ceremonial Changing The Guard, there’s been an awful lot of hard work and preparation getting people up to standard”. It was disclosed that some of those taking part in the parade were carrying out the duty for the first time.
The Guardsmen from the Household Division have been protecting the nation’s Kings and Queens since 1660 and over the past year and a half, they have been busy operating Covid-19 testing sites and vaccination centers across the country.