changing of the guard

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changing of the guard (plural changings of the guard)

  1. (usually preceded by the) A ceremony during which the soldiers or other officials guarding a major government building or state residence, especially Buckingham Place in England, are replaced by a new shift.
  2. (figuratively, by extension) Any situation in which an individual or group charged with a task or responsibilities in an organization is replaced by another individual or group.
    • 1989, S. C. Gwynne, "Running Low On Gas," Time, 20 Nov.:
      At the same stressful time, Detroit's automakers will be going through a major changing of the guard: all three companies are expected to get new chief executives in the space of two years.
    • 2008, James Hibberd, "NBC finalizes its late shift," Hollywood Reporter, 21 July (retrieved 25 July 2010):
      NBC has set a date for the changing of the guard at "The Tonight Show." After 17 years, Jay Leno will sign off as host of the venerated late-night talker.