In the time of Henry VIII, Horse Guards Parade was the Palace of Whitehall's tiltyard and held tournaments. It has been used for various ceremonies from the 17C onward, though for much of the 1900's it was used as a car park for senior civil servants. This ended in 1991 after an IRA bomb attack and then the area was cleared. Today Horse Guards Parade provides a large open space linking Whitehall with the Royal Parks.
Horse Guards Parade is currently scheduled to hold the Beach Volleyball events in the 2012 London Olympics.