Expatica news

Royal palace gets change of guard ceremony

13 December 2007

MADRID – About 500 people gathered Wednesday to watch the first changing of the guard ceremonies open to the public in front of the Spanish royal palace in Madrid.

The ceremony featuring 12 soldiers on foot and six on horseback, dressed in gala uniforms, had earlier taken place only on special occasions in presence of royals or important guests.

Two foot soldiers and two on horseback take their places in the ceremony every Wednesday. The foot soldiers change guard every half hour and those on horseback every hour between 11 am and 2 pm.

The aim is to draw more tourists to the Palacio de Oriente, one of the biggest royal palaces in Europe.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia receive guests at the 135,000- square-metre palace, but live in the smaller Zarzuela palace outside Madrid.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

Subject: Spanish news