Past Meets Present (Queen’s Guards)

All history appeared to live again and the continuity of things to vibrate through my mind.

~ Henry James, “English Hours”


Above s a beautiful painting of the Life Guards that Henry James included in his “English Hours” (published in 1905).

Below is the photo I captured just a month ago.


Guards are not purely ceremonial, despite tourist perceptions to the contrary. The Queen’s Guards are fully operational soldiers.


Unexpectedly, they used both side gates, only walked through the main gate the last five minutes or so.


It wasn’t what we saw in the late 90s when they had many more guards and longer ceremony and the horse guards parade were much more spectacular.

I recall at the end and before they closed the main gate, a guard brought a dog to join them, and he walked with the rest of the guards with such a pride, everyone was “Ooooh…”, He knew he was special. I was watching him with tears.


This time, when the ceremony was done, tourists had no idea it was over, we were staying where we were and waiting for more…


The security guards with machine guns.


When I read Becky’s October ‘Past meets Present‘, I thought about the dramatic changes of the most popular guard exchange ceremony in the world –a long, formal ceremony has been shortened, policemen are carrying machine guns, and the security guards on horses and on their feet are spreading around the palace.

When I came back from the trip, I opened the Henry James’ “English Hours” and saw the Fillippo Baratti’s painting of the Hyde Park Corner; London seemed to be relaxing and pleasantly peaceful then. Nostalgia.

Becky says, “If you fancy joining in with past meets present’, then do. You don’t need to be in Portugal and your photographs don’t need to be of Portugal either. The rule is simple … ” Take a look of Past meets Present.

Thank you for visiting. Happy Thursday 🙂


31 thoughts on “Past Meets Present (Queen’s Guards)

  1. I know exactly what you mean! I had a layover at Heathrow in London a month or so before 9-11. I was at Heathrow again a few days after 9-11. The police gear, and the security was so incredibly different.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amy – very cool past to present – and I have been at those exact gates you shared here – so it brought me back to the 80s – and the gunned guards – wow – shows the time change – anyhow – maybe something was off this day – or maybe they just scaled it way back for the present times.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great pictures showing the change from past to present. I remember our honeymoon, our first time visiting London, when the honor guard was enough to guard the palace. That was long time ago 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good morning, Amy,
    I still love the ceremony there, but you’re right: times have changed, and not for the better. How wonderful it would be if we didn’t need all that security – in London and elsewhere! I certainly am not one to whine about the “good old times”, but in this aspect I certainly regret that they’re gone.
    Have a great day,

    Liked by 1 person

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