Buckingham Palace guard ceremony returns after COVID hiatus

LONDON (AP) — British soldiers in scarlet tunics and bearskin hats paraded outside Buckingham Palace on Monday as the Changing the Guard ceremony resumed after a pandemic-induced 18-month gap.

The tourist-pleasing spectacle was halted in March 2020 as Britain went into lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

On Monday, soldiers from the Coldstream Guards marched from their London barracks to the home of Queen Elizabeth II to mount the guard, as scores of spectators watched and took photos

A military band played tunes saluting British success at the Tokyo Olympics, including the theme from “Chariots of Fire” and Spandau Ballet’s “Gold.”

Soldiers have maintained sentry duty outside royal residences during the pandemic, but the ceremonial changeover was not held.

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