Windsor Castle announce the Changing of the Guard ceremony is back, after a 16-month break

The tradition hasn't been performed since the pandemic started

Chnaging of the guards windsor castle
(Image credit: Matthews - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Changing of the Guard ceremony at Windsor Castle has been paused for over 16-months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards typically parade in front of onlookers.
• The ceremony takes place in the Lower Ward of the Castle, outside the Guardroom.
• In other royal news, Prince Charles rejects chef's glass of water in playful joke.

During the pandemic many things changed or even stopped, while one royal tradition was put on hold—the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle. 

Changing of the Guard is the ceremony where The Queen's Guard hands over responsibility for protecting the Queen's house—Windsor Castle. The ceremony, which also takes place at Buckingham Palace, draws lots of visitors.

As the ceremony always draws lots of visitors it was put on hold due to social distancing measures throughout the pandemic. However, earlier this week it was announced that the tradition would resume at Windsor Castle. The news was announced on the Royal Family Instagram page, showing the ceremony being performed in Windsor.

The photos and video, which have attracted nearly 150,00 likes on social media, show crowds gathering watching the guards performing their duties.

Along with the photos the message said: "Today at Windsor Castle the 1st Battalion @grenadier.guards performed the first Changing of the Guard since March 2020!

"While The Queen’s Guards have continued their sentry duties, all ceremonial and musical duties were put on hold during the pandemic. #DidYouKnow that Household Troops have guarded the Sovereign and the Royal Palaces since 1660!"

Now that The Changing of the Guard has resumed at Windsor Castle, it's thought it could start again at Buckingham Palace soon too.

The Queen is said to be moving permanently to Windsor Castle, to be nearer to where her husband Prince Philip was laid to rest in April. Prince Philip's funeral took place at St George's Chapel in Windsor and the Duke was laid to rest in a 200-year-old vault hidden underneath the chapel.

The Queen and Prince Philip spent a year together, in lockdown, living at Windsor Castle before Philip passed away.  While Windsor is also where the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh chose to spend their last Christmas together 'quietly' alone.

Windsor Castle is one of four homes the Queen and Prince Philip used (the others being Sandringham House in Norfolk, Balmoral in Scotland, and of course, Buckingham Palace). The castle is the oldest and largest in the world, covering 26 acres of land.

Windsor is arguably where the Queen spends most of her time, using it as her base at the weekend and as a home near London. She also conducts official duties there too, often hosting guests in the many reception rooms.

Sarah Finley
Sarah Finley

Sarah is a freelance writer - writing across titles including Woman & Home, Fit & Well, Tech Radar and the BBC. Covering a variety of subjects, including the royals, celebrities and trends in beauty, fashion and wellness - her biggest passions are travel and fitness. She can normally be found trying out the latest fitness class or on a plane to an exotic destination (pandemic allowing) - or writing about either of them.