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Experience the Ceremony of the Keys

Be part of this 700-year-old ancient ceremony

Be part of this 700-year-old ancient ceremony

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?' 'King Charles' 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 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 relevant today.

Important information for ticket holders

Tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys must be pre-booked in advance, online only. It becomes fully booked very quickly.

Tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys are released on a rolling monthly basis. For example, April’s tickets will be released at the beginning of March at 16:00 on the first working day of the month, unless it is a Friday, then it will released be the following Monday.

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 precisely. Late arrivals will not be admitted.

The meeting point for the Ceremony of the Keys is the main entrance to the Tower of London, West Gate.

The ceremony concludes at 22.05 after which all visitors are escorted to the exit. There are no toilet or refreshment facilities available.

There is limited accessibility - please email us at [email protected] if you have any special requirements.



From 21:30-22:05

Ticketing information

We charge a nominal £5.00 per ticket. Tickets must be pre-booked online only.

Historic Royal Palaces members can book dates for our Member-Only Ceremony of the Keys.

Separate ticket (advance booking required)

Book tickets

Booking conditions

  • Tickets are subject to our normal ticketing terms which can be found here.
  • The named ticket holder must be in attendance, otherwise your group will not be admitted.
  • There is a maximum number of tickets that are available to any one applicant, currently 6 tickets.
  • Multiple bookings under the same name, email or address may 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 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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