Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace app

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Why don’t the guards smile when they are on duty at Buckingham Palace?  How do the guards stay in formation when they are marching?  These are just some of the questions that are answered in the new Royal Collection Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace app.

The app is designed to enhance the experience of watching this traditional military ceremony, which has taken place at Buckingham Palace since 1837.  It provides an insight into what goes on behind the scenes and includes footage of guards preparing for duty in the Guard Room at St James’s Palace and interviews with guardsmen from Nijmegen Company, Grenadier Guards.

Undertaken by one of the five regiments of the Foot Guards, Changing the Guard or ‘Guard Mounting’ is the process by which the new Guard exchanges duty with the old.  It is watched by hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.  The handover ceremony is accompanied by one of the five bands of the Foot Guards, who play traditional military marches, music from films and musicals, and even well-known pop songs.

The app includes:

  • An interactive map, showing visitors where they are in relation to London landmarks and what route the Guard will take.
  • Interviews with serving soldiers, who explain how they manage to stay in formation, how they keep their boots shiny, and how long they spend on duty.
  • A ‘Kids’ Zone’, with answers to the questions children always ask – such as, ‘Why do the guards never smile when they are on duty?’
  • Information about the music used in the ceremony.
  • A key to recognising the regiments by their buttons and the plumes in their bearskin caps.

The Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace app is priced at 69p and is available for download here.