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Guard-changing ceremony back at Buckingham Palace for 1st time in 18 months

By Zarrin Ahmed
Guard-changing ceremony back at Buckingham Palace for 1st time in 18 months
Britons watch the Changing of the Guard ceremony Monday at Buckingham Palace in London, Britain. Photo by Facundo Arrizbalaga/EPA-EFE

Aug. 23 (UPI) -- The Changing of the Guard at Britain's Buckingham Palace occurred again on Monday for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, after the longest pause since World War II.

The 1st Battalion the Coldstream Guards carried out the tradition at the royal palace for the first time since March 2020.

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The ceremony saw the guards -- donned in their famous scarlet tunics and bearskin hats -- take over duty from the Grenadier Guards.

The ceremony was put on hold to discourage crowds during the pandemic, but many gathered to watch the military spectacle on Monday.

The ceremony included music celebrating Britain's success at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

The guard ceremony resumed in Windsor in July. During the pandemic, an Administrative Guard Mount was in operation.

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The Household Division have been protecting Britain's royalty since 1660. While off-duty, the guardsmen serve as soldiers on operations or training and have manned British COVID-19 testing sites and vaccination centers.

The Grenadier Guards took part in Queen Elizabeth II's birthday parade at Windsor in June and in Prince Philip's funeral in the spring.

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