Be part of this 700-year-old ancient ceremony
9 April 2021. Following the death of His Royal Highness, there will be changes to opening hours for the gardens at Hampton Court Palace and Hillsborough Castle. For further information, please read our FAQs page
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 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.
Please note, all tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys have been cancelled until further notice.
Tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys must be pre-booked in advance, online only. It becomes fully booked very quickly.
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 ceremony concludes at 22:05 after which all visitors are escorted to the exit. There are no toilet or refreshment facilities available.
Discover our decadent range of goblets and tankards inspired by our Historic Royal Palaces. The perfect gift for a medieval fan our goblets are made in a selection of leathers, glass and pewter.