Changing of the guards

by Evans Yonson

Barcelona – Two weeks ago, the Philippines swore in its 15th President of the Republic. The changing of the national leader is momentous event for any independent nation. I couldn’t watch this ceremony because I was travelling around Eastern Europe. Instead, I treated myself to every host country’s changing of the Palace guards. It’s a ceremony that I have always admired the first time I saw it in London at the Buckingham Palace, five years ago. It has become a fascination watching the changing of the guards. Not that I have this funny feeling for men in uniform. Take note how each changing of the guards differ from each other and how it says about their culture.

The Queen is in! London, England. Summer 2005.

The hat matters a lot for this Buckingham Palace guards. Summer 2005.

Some come. Others go. So are the Buckingham Palace guards. Summer 2005.

The Greeks do it with glamour and pomp. Fall 2008.

It has become a major tourist destination in Athens. Fall 2008.

Don't you just love the skirt and leggings? Athens, Greece. Fall 2008.

I love the sound of live music during the changing of guards. Prague, Czech Republic. Summer 2010.

The Czechs would rather show their backs. Kinda shy. Prague, Czech Republic. Summer 2010.

Oh! When the guards start marching in! Prague, Czech Republic. Summer 2010.

The Slovaks do it simpler. No loud live music. Just simple marching. Bratislava, Slovak Republic. Summer 2010.

After less than 10 minutes, they are done with their ceremony. Bratislava, Slovak Republic. Summer 2010.

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