Horse Guards Parade is the Parade Ground for Many London Royal Ceremonies:
Located at the heart of Whitehall, the political centre of Britain, Horse Guards Parade is where some of the best of British royal parades and ceremonies take place in London.
The Changing the Guard Ceremony (horse guards) and Dismounting Ceremony take place here daily. The Beating the Retreat Ceremony is also held on Horse Guards Parade as is the annual Trooping the Colour, one of the most elaborate of royal ceremonies in London. This royal ceremony takes place here on the Queen’s official birthday which is held on the second Saturday in June. She attends the parade in her Ivory Mounted Phaeton which was originally built for Queen Victoria in 1842.
The historic Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground that has been used for parades and ceremonies for centuries. Horse Guards Parade dates from 1745 and takes its name from the soldiers who have provided protection for the royalty since the restoration of the monarchy in 1660. It was once Henry VIII’s tournament ground (Palace of Whitehall tiltyard) and Henry VIII is believed to have played the ancient equivalent of lawn tennis here.
Horse Guards Parade is sometimes used for major sporting events and during the London 2012 Olympics, the Beach Volleyball event will be staged here.
For the visitor, there is plenty to see in the area as Horse Guards Parade is close to the Prime Minister’s office at 10 Downing Street and is across from St James’ Park. Buckingham Palace and Trafalgar Square are also easily reached on foot.