The Queen was not in the Palace during our tour in July. She escaped hot summer and tourist mob. How can you tell if the Queen is in residence or not? If the Union Flag flies from the Palace, the Queen is not in the Palace.
You can see Victoria Memorial in the background in the picture above.
That's the close-up of Victoria Memorial, a memorial statue of Queen Victoria.
Now here is my tips on watching Changing Guards at the Buckingham Palace. They should name it Marching Guards instead. Why? These guards march to the Palace and then they go behind the main gate to change guards. During Changing Guards, the gate is closed. The spectators can only peep through the gate to see their changing routine . If you stand in front of the gate, you don't see them marching. If you stand in front of the crowd to watch them march, you won't be able to get close to the gate and see Changing Guards, too many people get in your way by then. It's a tricky business. Now you know the situation, you have to make up your mind where you prefer to stand during Changing Guards.
Is it worth all the hassle? It's their tradition and you are in London. I guess it's something you have to do once.
Although central London is very safe for tourists, you should always watch out for pickpocketing when you are surrounded by people. People are crowded very closed together during Changing Guard, so be vigilant.
The fence and the crowd, it will be like this the whole summer.
That's the main gate. I wasn't even that close to it. I just raised my camera in the air and captured this. Can you see Changing Guards in the background?
Changing Guards is behind the gate, so that's how you see it.
After Changing Guards, people were lingering in front of Buckingham Palace and the gate was open. A section of the Palace is open to public but photography is not allowed.
That's the main road named The Mall, leading from Buckingham Palace to the famous street, Whitehall. It's a nice little walk from The Mall to Whitehall. You will find Downing Street and Horse Guards building on Whitehall.