Westminster Abbey is one of the world’s great churches, and for 1000 years has been the site of royal coronations. It has welcomed Kings, Queens and statesmen, royal weddings (most recently Prince William and Kate Middleton) and state funerals.
Every British monarch since William the Conqueror in 1066 has been crowned in Westminster abbey, the most recent being Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. You’ll see the Coronation Chair, commissioned in 1296 by Edward the Confessor, as well as his shrine. It is also the burial place of 17 British monarchs, the Unknown Soldier and many of Britain’s greatest poets who lie in Poet’s Corner.
After your visit to the Abbey, your guide will lead you to the Changing of the Guards. This world-famous ceremony takes place either at Buckingham Palace or at Horse Guards Parade, depending on the day. Your guide will make sure you are in a prime position to enjoy the best views at this crowded event. Enjoy commentary regarding the history and pageantry behind the ceremony – see the Queen’s Foot Guards, with their red tunics and unmistakable bearskin hats, march to Buckingham Palace together with the military band or the Household Cavalry, complete with plumed silver helmets, ride in on their magnificent horses. (Please note that in heavy rain the guard’s parade will not take place).
End your tour at Buckingham Palace, the residence of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. See the famous balcony where the royal family appears during major events, and hear stories of intruders and princes scaling the walls to get both inside and out!
*Please note that Westminster Abbey is subject to last minute, unforeseen closures
**Changing of the Guard will not operate in heavy rain and will be replaced with an extended walking tour