07.01.2021

Solemn Relay and Changing of Royal Guard Ceremony

Enjoy the outdoors of Madrid this winter with the Solemn Relay and the Changing the Guard ceremony, two of the oldest official acts in Europe organized by the Royal Guard at the Royal Palace.

Behind the gates of Plaza de la Armería at the Royal Palace, the first Wednesday of each month visitors can enjoy the Solemn Relay. At 12:00 p.m. The Music Unit starts this act with the traditional chords of El Almirante, Doña Francisquita and España Cañí. The fifes and drums accompany the act while the guard, with the weapon on the shoulder, awaits for the salient.

After that, spearmen, rifle companies, military officers in charge of artillery pieces and ammunition piles parade for almost an hour. A ceremony where 400 people (dressed in the original uniforms) and 100 horses stage the relay like in the time of kings Alfonso XII and Alfonso XIII.

The other Wednesdays and Saturdays of the year, the Changing the Guard ceremony takes place at 11:00 a.m. (as long as the official acts or the climatology allow it), at the Prince’s door. This time, the four palace sentinels – two of them on horseback – dressed in uniforms similar to those used by the Spanish army in the time of Alfonso XIII, perform a relay every 30 minutes until 2:00 p.m., accompanied by a fife and a drum that perform military marches, following the orders and regulatory voices.