Ceremony of the Keys

Be part of this 700 year old ancient ceremony.

Be part of this 700 year old ancient ceremony.

When

  • Daily
21:30-22:05

Ticketing information

Tickets are free of charge but must be pre-booked. Bookings are available online only. 

Please note: this event is popular and is usually sold out approximately 12 months in advance, unfortunately we are unable to offer a waiting list for this event.

Free (advanced booking required) Buy tickets online

What is the Ceremony of the Keys?

Footsteps echo in the darkness. The sentry cries out, 'Halt, who comes there?' The Yeoman Warder replies, 'The keys.' 'Whose keys?' 'Queen Elizabeth's keys.' 'Pass then, all's well.'

Aside from the monarch's name, this is the exact exchange that has been spoken for centuries and forms part of the traditional 'locking up' of the Tower of London.

Set amidst the mighty battlements of this ancient historic fortress, the Ceremony of the Keys is one of the oldest and most colourful surviving enactments of its kind. Although the monarch may no longer reside at the Tower, the Crown Jewels and many other invaluable objects still do, therefore its importance is still paramount today.

 

Important information for ticket holders

Visitors must pre-book and tickets are usually sold out many months in advance. Please bring the e-ticket accessed via the link on your booking confirmation. Visitors will be admitted to the Tower under escort at 21:30 hrs (9:30 pm) precisely. Late arrivals will not be admitted. The ceremony concludes at 22:05 hrs (10:05 pm) after which all visitors are escorted to the exit.  There are no toilet or refreshment facilities available.

 

Booking conditions

  • Tickets are non-transferable and we are not able to change names on bookings under any circumstances.
  • There is a maximum number of tickets that are available to any one applicant. Multiple bookings under the same name or address will be cancelled and will be refused entry on the night.
  • We do not accept bookings by groups, schools or third parties, tour operators etc. Any bookings will be cancelled. We are not able to offer a waiting list.
  • Photography is not permitted during any part of the ceremony.

 

Has your preferred date sold out? 

  • Tickets are limited, and are usually sold out at least 12 months in advance (currently sold out until September 2019)
  • Tickets for any cancelled bookings will be released onto the booking system again. 
  • There is no waiting list for this event - please check the website regularly for up-to-date availability. 
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