Ceremonial military guns will go bang bang several times in London during 2024, at the Tower of London and in the Royal Parks.

The number of rounds fired in a Royal salute depends on the place and occasion.

The basic Royal salute is 21 rounds, a numercial legacy of how the gun salute was invented. It owes its origins to when warships visiting foreign ports would discharge their guns to show they came in peace. In return, the port would discharge three rounds for each shot fired by the arriving ship

As British ships often carried seven guns, that gave seven rounds from the ship, and a matching 21 rounds from the shore – hence the 21 gun salute.

However, when a gun salute takes place in Hyde Park and Green Park, an extra 20 rounds are added because they are Royal Parks.

Preceding the event, the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery will parade their horses and six First World War-era gun carriages out from Wellington Barracks on Birdcage Walk, past Buckingham Palace and up Constitution Hill in the morning to stage the midday salute. In anticipation of their arrival, the Band of the Grenadier Guards will perform celebratory music near the firing position, which is a helpful hint if you’re trying to find them.

In Green Park, the best views are from Constitution Hill, and when salutes are given in Hyde Park, then they are close to Marble Arch.

At the Tower of London 62 rounds are fired on Royal anniversaries (the basic 21, plus a further 20 because the Tower is a Royal Palace and Fortress, plus another 21 ‘for the City of London’) and 41 on other occasions. The gun salutes at the Tower of London take place along the riverside, so visible to all, but the area is cramped. Often you get a better view from Tower Bridge.

At both locations, once the ceremony starts, the guns continue to fire one after the other at 10-second intervals until the required number of rounds have been fired.

Gun Salutes in London 2024

Monday 6th May

King’s Coronation

  • 12pm – Hyde Park
  • 1pm – Tower of London

Saturday 15th June

Official Birthday of HM The King

  • 12:52pm – Green Park
  • 1pm – Tower of London

Wednesday 17th July

Birthday of HM The Queen

  • 12pm – Green Park
  • 1pm – Tower of London

Monday 9th September

Accession Day of HM The King

  • 12pm – Hyde Park
  • 1pm – Tower of London

Sunday 10th November

Remembrance Sunday

  • 11am – Horse Guards Parade

Thursday 14th Nov

Birthday of HM The King

  • 12pm – Green Park
  • 1pm – Tower of London

Gun salutes can be added if a state visit is announced or at the State Opening of Parliament, which may be altered this year in case of a general election.


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  1. JP says:

    You think you know everything there is to know about something you’ve known all your life and then bang! The smartarse alert goes off with a loud retort and you’re rapidly cut down to size.

    These celebrations are a tiny dot on a nation’s timeline and a great place to take the kids on a damp day:

    Christopher Robin type of thing;
    Tower of London, Castle, drawbridge, Kings and Queens, Soldiers and big cannons going Bang. What could your darling little future Rapunzel or Prince Charming want‽

    • JP says:

      And it sure did go off because I forgot the point, which was…

      The way that the passing of the Queen is being noted this year is pleasingly unassuming yet unavoidably portentous.
      The anniversary of King Charles’s late mother’s birthday is to be commemorated this year, but obviously and logically, not Her late Majesty’s birthday as the Monarch.

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