First Changing of the Guard in reign of King Charles III takes place

·2-min read

The first Changing of the Guard has taken place since King Charles III was named as Britain’s new monarch on Saturday.

Number 7 Company The Coldstream Guards formally handed over duties to Number 12 Company Irish Guards in simultaneous ceremonies that were held on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace and St James’s Palace in central London on Monday.

It is also the first time there has been a changing of the King’s Guard at the royal palaces for 70 years.

The Irish Guards performed the first changing of the King’s Guard in 70 years (Ministry of Defence/PA)
The Irish Guards performed the first changing of the King’s Guard in 70 years (Ministry of Defence/PA)

To mark the historic occasion, just one piece of music was performed as opposed to the usual running mix of regimental marches and pop music.

The Band of the Scots Guards played The King’s Guard March, which was composed in 1904, as it led the new guard from Wellington Barracks until they arrived at the gates of Buckingham Palace.

The Ministry of Defence said it was  “only fitting” the Coldstream Guards were involved with Monday’s event as they are the same regiment who ensured the Restoration of the monarchy in England in 1660, placing King Charles II on the throne.

The formal ceremony sees the soldiers protecting Buckingham Palace replaced by a new group (Ministry of Defence/PA)
The formal ceremony sees the soldiers protecting Buckingham Palace replaced by a new group (Ministry of Defence/PA)

The Changing of the Guard is a formal ceremony in which the group of soldiers protecting Buckingham Palace are replaced by a new unit.

The exchange of duties took place as crowds of mourners continued to arrive at Buckingham Palace to pay their respects to the Queen.

Well-wishers dropped flowers into the fountain in Green Park near Buckingham Palace.

Flowers and teddy bears, including a stuffed corgi, continue to be laid at the foot of the fountain.

The parade was led by the Band of the Irish Guards (Ministry of Defence/PA)
The parade was led by the Band of the Irish Guards (Ministry of Defence/PA)

Sylvia Willcox, who laid flowers, remembers watching the coronation on television when she was seven.

She told the PA news agency she wanted to come to the Palace “to pay respects and to see everyone in the same frame of mind”.

She said of the Queen “we’ve always admired her and loved her”.

The Band of the Coldstream Guards also played the national anthem after Charles was named as the new king at the principal proclamation at St James’s Palace on Saturday.