This small parade ground has been used for Royal events since the 17th century, including jousting tournaments for Henry VIII’s entertainment and monarch birthday celebrations up to the present day. The grounds even hosted beach volleyball during the 2012 Olympics.
The parade ground’s regular use is for the changing of the horse guards at the official entrance to St James and Buckingham Palace. Although Changing The Queen’s Lifeguard is not as dramatic as Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the smaller crowds and ability to get up close to the horses and riders makes this ceremony ideal for people looking for clear photos, those with young children, and those who don’t want to wait outside Buckingham Palace for a good vantage point.
Tip: The New Guard leaves Hyde Park Barracks (near Trevor Place) at 10:28 weekdays and 9:28 on Sundays to ride to Horse Guards Parade. So if you can’t make the ceremony, you can see the parade in Hyde Park from South Carriage Drive to Hyde Park Corner. Always check the website before heading out; schedules change.