Friday, September 7, 2018

Changing Of The Guard

In yesterday's post, I showed you the march of the Ceremonial Guard to the grounds of Parliament Hill. I returned the following day to photograph the ceremony of the Changing Of The Guard. A portion of the Guards take up position first, awaiting the rest of the group as they come up Elgin Street and around the War Memorial. There is narration done, in alternating English and French, by guides posted near the main stairs up to the Centre Block. A couple of soldiers walk the grounds during the ceremony. The red cross armband they wear gives them away- they're medics, keeping an eye on the Guards just in case. Summer is hot here, after all, and those dress uniforms (especially the hats) can be a recipe for trouble on a humid day. They're also on hand if any of the audience have a problem with the heat. It must be a trick of the light or the angle of my shot, but there seems to be a ghostly echo of a building at a diagonal angle in this first shot. And have a look at this video I did for a taste of the music.

When the ceremony is over, the Guards all march off the Hill together, back towards the Cartier Square  drill hall. A smaller version of this ceremony takes place during the season each hour on the grounds at Rideau Hall, where it might be four or six guards involved at a time.


  1. If I had to guess, without knowing of course, I would have said these photos were taken in Edinburgh.

  2. This is one of the tourist attraction!

  3. Hello, I would enjoy watching the changing of the guard. Thanks for sharing. Happy Friday, enjoy your day and weekend!

  4. @Rosemary: the architecture would certainly fit in Edinburgh!

    @Nancy: it is. A good number of people do come out for the ceremony in the morning.

    @Francisco: thank you!

    @Marie: it must be stifling. The medics do keep an eye out, and I'm sure from time to time one of the troops does collapse in the heat. The Guard would be prepared for that.

    @Eileen: thank you!

    @Tom: that it is.

  5. We don't have such a ceremonial changing of the guard in the Netherlands.
    Like you said, the video gives something extra with the music.

  6. It is a very lovely ceremony. It would be great to be able to see it whenever you wanted. :-)

  7. An impressive Changing of the Guard ceremony and wonderful photos. I also enjoyed your video. It was super to hear their music. I love to hear these military bands, thank you for bringing back a lot of very nice memories.

  8. I'm surprised at how many are involved in the changing of the guard.

  9. @Jan: and I have more video coming up in my post for tomorrow.

    @DJan: I try to see the ceremony once each summer.

    @Denise: you're welcome!

    @Sharon: it's good music.

    @Red: it's quite something to see in person.

  10. I would like to see it in person...

  11. Very cool! I have never been to Ottawa! Your header is cool. We had those garden exhibits here in Atlanta.

  12. Beautiful series of photos of the 'changing of the guard' ~ intriguing event!

    Happy Day to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores

  13. A very impressive ceremony and you photographed it beautifully as always!

  14. Neat pictures
    I thought military has warm weather uniforms. Makes no sense to wear heavy dress in the heat.

  15. Can't imagine wearing one of those hats in weather like we've been having. That would be torture!

  16. Excellent photographic report.
    I also watched a guard render in stockholm, I loved it.
    Have a nice weekend
    Divagar Sobre Tudo um Pouco

  17. @Karl: it is quite something to take in.

    @Kelleyn: thank you!

    @Carol: thanks!

    @Lois: I enjoy an event like this.

    @Maywyn: it's tradition. The utility style uniforms are more practical.

    @Revrunner: I imagine they sweat, but they don't show it.

    @Maria: it's a good tradition to keep up.

    @RedPat: and more pomp and ceremony tomorrow!

  18. Must be incredible to see, quite impressive ceremony.

  19. We hope to catch changing of the guard in England. Very impressive1

  20. I enjoyed the video, and I like your photographs too.

    All the best Jan

  21. a beautiful ceremony
    I like your casttle

  22. so cool. i bet it would be awesome in person too. ( :

  23. @Bill: it is quite something to see in person.

    @Unknown: some of the traditions would be very much the same over there.

    @Jan: thank you!

    @Bergson: the Parliament blocks very much do feel like castles.

    @Beth: it was!

    @Klara: indeed.