Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade

Horse Guards Parade is a large parade ground off Whitehall in central London, at grid reference gbmappingsmall|TQ299800. It was formerly the site of the Palace of Whitehall's "tiltyard", where tournaments were held in the time of Henry VIII. It was also the scene of the annual celebrations of the birthday of Queen Elizabeth I.

The area has been used for a variety of reviews, parades and other ceremonies since the 17th century. It is the site of the annual ceremonies of Trooping the Colour, which commemorates the monarch's official birthday, and Beating Retreat. For much of the late 20th century it was put to a rather less dignified purpose — as a car park for senior civil servants — but this use was ended in the 1990s.

The catalyst for the clearing of the parade ground was the Provisional IRA's mortar attack on 10 Downing Street on 7 February 1991, which was carried out from a vehicle parked near to Horse Guards Parade in Horse Guards Avenue. Not surprisingly, vehicles are now not allowed to park anywhere in the area.


The parade ground is open on the west side, where it faces Horse Guards Road and St. James's Park. It is flanked on the north by the Old Admiralty and the Admiralty Citadel, on the east by Horse Guards — formerly the headquarters of the British Army — and on the south by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the rear garden wall of 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister. Access to this side of Horse Guards Parade is now restricted for security reasons.


A number of military monuments and trophies ring the outside of the parade ground, including:
* statues of Field Marshals Kitchener, Roberts and Wolseley
* a Turkish cannon made in 1524 "by Murad son of Abdullah, chief gunner" which was captured in Egypt in 1801
* the Cádiz Memorial, a French mortar mounted on a cast-iron Chinese dragon which commemorates the lifting of the siege of Cádiz in Spain in 1812
* the Guards Memorial, designed by the sculptor Gilbert Ledward in 1923-26 and erected to commemorate the First Battle of Ypres and other battles of World War I.

In 2003 the Royal Naval Division Memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1925, was returned to its original site in Horse Guards Parade and rededicated on "Beaucourt Day" (13 November 2003).

An oddity is the black background to the number 2 of the double sided clock which overlooks the Parade Ground and the front entrance, it is popularly thought to commemorate the time the last absolute monarch of England, Charles I, was beheaded at the Banqueting House opposite.

The 2012 Olympics

Horse Guards Parade will host the beach volleyball competition of the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. Temporary courts and seating will be installed, much as seating is installed annually for Trooping the Colour. There will be two courts with capacities of 12,000 and 5,000.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Horse Guards Parade — [Horse Guards Parade] the open area behind the ↑Horse Guards building in London, England, where the ceremony of ↑Trooping the Colour takes place every year on the Queen’s ↑Official Birthday …   Useful english dictionary

  • Horse Guards Parade — 51° 30′ 16″ N 0° 07′ 42″ W / 51.5045755, 0.1283598 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Horse Guards Parade — Old Admiralty Building Horse Guards Parade ist ein großer Paradeplatz in London in der Nähe von Whitehall. Der Platz ist nach Westen hin offen, dort grenzt der St. James’s Park an. Die anderen drei Seiten werden von Gebäuden begrenzt. An der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Horse Guards Parade — Horse Guards Pa|rade a wide square in central London used for public ceremonies by the Blues and Royals and other British army ↑regiments …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Horse Guards Parade — the open area behind the Horse Guards(2) building in London, England, where the ceremony of Trooping the Colour takes place every year on the Queen’s Official Birthday. * * * …   Universalium

  • Horse Guards — can refer to: * A Household Cavalry regiment: ** One was the Royal Horse Guards, which is now part of the Blues and Royals ** The Governor General s Horse Guards, the Household Cavalry regiment of the Canadian Forces * Horse Guards (building), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Horse Guards (building) — Horse Guards is a large grade I listed building in the Palladian style between Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade in London, England. It was built between 1751 1753 by John Vardy to a design by William Kent. The building was constructed on the… …   Wikipedia

  • Horse Guards — (Blick über Horse Guards Parade) Horse Guards ist ein Gebäude in London zwischen Whitehall und Horse Guards Parade. Es wurde 1751 bis 1753 im Stil des Palladianismus von John Vardy nach Plänen von William Kent an der Stelle errichtet, an der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Horse Guards Road (Londres) — Traduction à relire Horse Guards (road) → …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Horse Guards (road) — Horse Guards Road (or just Horse Guards ) is a road in the City of Westminster, London. It runs south from The Mall, down to Birdcage Walk.To the west of the road is St. James s Park and to the east are various government buildings, including the …   Wikipedia

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