Were in London would I be able to see a bearskin-wearing wearing foodguard of the Household Cavalry?
May 14, 2007 7:14 AM   Subscribe

Where in London would I be able to see—and get a decent photograph of—a bearskin wearing footguard of the Household Cavalry?

I need to take a picture of a soldier wearing one of the traditional British uniforms and a bearskin hat. There's an example of what they look like on Flickr here. I need to use the image in some artwork, and as a result don't want to use someone else's copyrighted image and would like to take the picture myself. However, despite roaming around all the obvious areas in Central London I have not stumbled upon a single one. Any help in locating them would be very much appreciated.
posted by barbelith to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
I take it you've tried Buckingham Palace?
posted by gfrobe at 7:20 AM on May 14, 2007

Did you check at St. James's Palace?
posted by swordfishtrombones at 7:25 AM on May 14, 2007

This dude chills around the Tower of London, I think outside the building with the Royal Jewels. You can walk right up and take a picture, once all the other tourists have their turn.
posted by muddgirl at 7:38 AM on May 14, 2007

Around the corner from Buckingham Palace, on a road called Birdcage Walk, there is an army barracks. Basically, if you stand facing the front of Buckingham Palace, the barracks is to the left and slightly behind you, about 30 seconds walk away. Birdcage Walk runs roughly parallel to The Mall, but on the other side of St James's Park.

Anyway, the barracks is where the bearskin wearing soldiers come from and go back to. They regularly march there and back, in full uniform, and can be photographed en route. Also, if you're lucky, and so inclined, you can often watch the soldiers drilling in the front parade ground. Mornings are generally best for this.

Nearest tube stations for this are, St James's Park, or Westminster.
posted by veedubya at 8:05 AM on May 14, 2007

FWIW, (just in case you were going to label the picture that way) the chaps with the bearskin hats aren't household cavalry - a "footguard of the household cavalry" is a bit of a contradiction in terms. The Household Cavalry wear headgear and uniforms more suited to riding a horse.
posted by buxtonbluecat at 8:24 AM on May 14, 2007

From changing-the-guard.com:

You will get many opportunities to photograph the Guards, the best time is not actually during the Guard change but before or after, the best locations are all highlighted in the Guide book but as a hint try:

Wellington Barracks to the left of Buckingham Palace as you face it, it is best just after the ceremony.

St James' Palace before or after the guard change at Buckingham Palace.

Want a picture standing next to a guard? Go to St James' Palace, walk past the courtyard of the Palace and turn left around the corner (into Pall Mall) and there is a guard standing all on his own, you can go and stand right next to him!

During the ceremony (at about 10.45am and again at 11.40am), the mounted guards will ride past, firstly going up 'The Mall' and then returning back down.

Go to Horse Guards Parade and in Whitehall you can get a picture standing next to a guard mounted on their horse.

If you want to get really close, St James' Palace is probably best.
posted by roofus at 8:39 AM on May 14, 2007

The Army website is helpful in explaining the esoteric difference between the Queen's Guard and the Queen's Life Guard. It also tells you when you can see the Changing of the Guard.

Here's the Changing of the Guard as it's supposed to happen. And here's the Changing of the Guard as it's, um, not supposed to happen.
posted by verstegan at 3:32 PM on May 14, 2007

Anecdote filter - as a youth on my first visit to blighty my wife took my photo next to said guard, still as a rock. Until he slammed his rifle stock into the ground with a crash and marched off decisively, scaring the bejezus out of me.
My new motto was not to fuck with armed men, however fancifully they are dressed.
posted by bystander at 4:42 AM on May 15, 2007

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