During the 2012 Olympics, London’s Horse Guards Parade will echo not to the hoof beats of the Household Cavalry carrying out the changing of the guard, but to the thuds and grunts of the beach volleyball players.

The iconic parade ground, used for Trooping the Colour, will be transformed into a 15,000-seater outdoor bowl, where the scantily clad men and women will compete for Olympic glory.

A spokesman for the Army’s London operations said: “Guard changes will have to be moved to the forecourt in Whitehall, but it should not cause us too much inconvenience.

“I’m hoping the view from my office in Horse Guards will be unobscured and we will be delighted and charmed to be able to watch the competition.”

Although tickets for the Olympic Games do not go on sale until March 2011, thousands have registered an interest in buying tickets with organisers LOCOG.

For more information, go to www.london2012.com.