Household Cavalry Museum
What you'll do
A living museum offering views into the fully-functioning 18th century stables, located within Horse Guards in Central London, the headquarters of The Queen’s Household Division.
Enjoy access to the Household Cavalry Museum with The London Pass®
- Pay nothing at the door—simply show your pass.
- See troopers performing their daily duties in the stables.
- Discover a wealth of personal testimony from former and current troopers.
- Dress up like a cavalryman.
- See hourly sentry changes, daily morning guard changes and afternoon inspections.
The Household Cavalry Museum gets you right up close to The Queen’s Mounted Bodyguard. Explore their history and discover more about their present-day role. The museum offers views into the working stables operated by the regiment and tells the story of The Household Cavalry through compelling personal testimonies, interactivity and rare artifacts.
The Household Cavalry Museum history
The Household Cavalry Museum sits within Horse Guards in Whitehall, Central London, which is one of the city’s most historic buildings. Dating from 1750, it is still the headquarters of the Household Division, in which the Household Cavalry has performed the Queen’s Life Guard in a daily ceremony that has remained broadly unchanged for over 350 years.
By order of King Charles II, The Household Cavalry was formed in 1661. The Household Cavalry today is comprised of two of the most senior regiments of the British Army. These are the Life Guards and the Blues & Royals. Together, they perform two important roles. Firstly, as a mounted regiment, they protect Her Majesty The Queen during a number of ceremonial events across London and the UK, playing an important role in the Royal Pageantry that is such a prized aspect of the country and a real draw for visitors and Brits alike. Secondly, the Royal Cavalry serves an operational role around the world, manning a number of different armored fighting vehicles, running humanitarian operations and taking part in peace-keeping missions.
Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007, The Household Cavalry Museum offers a unique behind-the-scenes perspective on these two vital British Army regiments and both the ceremonial and operational duties they perform. It offers a metaphorical and literal window into the prestigious history and everyday workings of the Household Cavalry, with a large glazed partition through which visitors see troopers tending to their horses in the original 18th century stables and a wealth of exhibitions covering the regiments’ history in theatres of conflict and during Royal ceremonial occasions.
This is a living museum, getting you right into the heart of the modern working environment of a place the Household Cavalry has guarded for well over 350 years. The Queen’s Life Guard ceremony is performed here each morning, as is the daily afternoon inspection. The Household Cavalry Museum pairs the everyday activities at Horse Guards with a wealth of interactive exhibits, as well as personal testimonies from troopers regarding their training and responsibilities. There’s even the opportunity to try on the iconic uniform for yourself and dress like a cavalryman.
The Household Cavalry Museum highlights
- See hourly sentry changes, the morning Queen’s Life Guard ceremony and afternoon inspection
- Look through the glass partition into the working 18th century stables
- Dress up like a cavalryman, donning the iconic tunic, cuirass and helmet
- See a wealth of interactivity-enhanced exhibitions, with a multimedia guide available in eight different languages
The Household Cavalry Museum facts
- The afternoon inspection of guards and horses began in 1894 when Queen Victoria discovered the guards drinking and gambling instead of performing their protective duties. She doled out her punishment: the guards would be inspected at 4PM daily for the next 100 years.
- In 1994, when the royal punishment officially expired, Queen Elizabeth II elected to persist with the daily inspections because by then they were a firmly established tradition.
- Horse Guards Clock faces out onto Whitehall and Horse Guards Parade. You can’t miss it during your visit to the Household Cavalry Museum. Before Big Ben, it was the primary public clock in the Westminster area.
- It is believed that a mark by the II on the clock face notes the time of King Charles’s execution in 1649. He was executed outside Horse Guards.
The Changing of The Queen’s Life Guard
This ceremony takes place every day. Members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ride down from the Hyde Park Barracks to relieve those on duty and take up guard positions at Horse Guards. Passing through Hyde Park Corner, along Constitution Hill and The Mall, the riders arrive at Horse Guards Parade, right outside the Household Cavalry Museum. It is here that the impressive guard change ceremony takes place.
Monday - Saturday: 11AM
There are also hourly sentry changes when the two guards protecting the Horse Guards entrance are replaced. In addition, there’s a formal inspection on the Front Yard of Horse Guards at 4PM daily.
For more upcoming events, consult the Household Cavalry Museum website here or contact the Museum on 020 7930 3070 for current information.
Know before you go
Getting in: show your pass at the door for entry.
London Pass customers do not need to book in advance but may need to wait for the next available time slot on arrival
Where you'll be
Horse Guards, Whitehall, London, GB
Wednesday to Sunday: 10AM to 5PM (last entry 4PM)
Please note: opening hours are also affected by security closures for ceremonial reasons. Please check the museum's website for the most up-to-date information.
Closings & holidays
Monday & Tuesday
Good Friday, 24 to 26 December
Household Cavalry Museum
020 7930 3070
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