Changing of the Guard in Stockholm

Pagentry and Pomp at the Royal Palace

Changing of the Guard Stockholm
••• Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Royal Palace, Stockholm. Oliver Benn / Getty Images

The Royal Guard has been stationed at the Royal Palace in Stockholm since 1523. About 30,000 guards from the Swedish Armed Forces take their turns standing watch. They are responsible for guarding the Royal Palace and are also part of the defense of Stockholm, and so are an important part of the security for the capital's citizens. They also take part in royal ceremonial occasions, official state visits, the official opening of the Swedish Parliament, and other national events.

 Watching this free 40-minute event of the changing of the guard in front of the King of Sweden's residence is a very popular tourist attraction. 

Watch the Marching Band

The Changing of the Guard ceremony is one of the most popular attractions for visitors to Stockholm. It takes place every day of the year, but from April 23  to August 31, the ceremonial march through central Stockholm is accompanied by a full military band from the Swedish Armed Forces Music Centre. Sometimes the guards can be seen approaching the Royal Palace on horseback, especially on April 30, the King's birthday.

When to See the Changing of the Guard

The Royal Guards ceremony lasts about 40 minutes. It begins at 12:15 p.m. on weekdays in the outer courtyard of the Royal Palace. On Sundays, the event takes place at 1:15 p.m. In autumn, starting on September 1, the parade is generally held only on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

It departs from the Army Museum at 11:45 a.m. and on Sundays at 12:45 p.m. If there is no musical accompaniment, then the Guards march from the Obelisk at 12:14 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and at 1:14 p.m. on Sundays.

In winter from November to March, the event is not as big but still worth watching.

During that time, the Royal Guard publicly changes on Wednesdays and Saturdays, departing from Mynttorget at 12:09 p.m., and on Sundays and public holidays at 1:09 p.m. If there is no musical accompaniment, the Royal Guards march from the Obelisk at 12:14 p.m on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and at 1:14 p.m. on Sundays. The holiday season often includes additional events.

Winter Royal Guard Ceremonies 

  • December 23 marks the Queen of Sweden's birthday, and the changing of the Royal Guard is accompanied by a gun salute from Skeppsholmen at noon.
  • January 28 is the King's Name Day, which is marked by a gun salute from Skeppsholment at noon.
  • March 12 is the Crown Princess's name day, which is celebrated in the inner palace courtyard.