Experience the Ceremony of the Keys

Be part of this 700-year-old ancient ceremony

Be part of this 700-year-old ancient ceremony

Update 5 November: In line with government guidance, the Tower of London will be closed until 2 December. Please read our FAQs

When

Cancelled until further notice

21:30-22:05

Ticketing information

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

This event is very popular and upcoming dates are now sold out. New tickets are released every six months.

We are fully booked up to October 2020. Tickets for dates from November 2020 will become available once the Tower of London re-opens.

 


Separate ticket (advance booking required)

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 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

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.

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: 6 tickets from 1 April - 31 October and 12 tickets from 1 November - 31 March.
  • Multiple bookings under the same name, email 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 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. 
Photo of the Crown Jewels
Things to see Highlights

Prepare to be dazzled by this breathtaking, world famous collection of 23,578 gemstones at the Tower of London.

Closed

Tower of London

Allow one hour

Included in palace admission (members go free)

A Yeoman Warder gives a tour to a group of visitors outside the chapel of St Peter Ad Vincula at the Tower of London
Highlights

Discover captivating stories of pain and passion, treachery and torture with our Yeoman Warders at the Tower of London.

Wednesday-Sunday

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)

The backs of six soldiers from the Irish Guards are shown whilst walking.
Things to see

Marvel at the guards protecting the Crown Jewels. See the sentries posted outside the Jewel House and The Queen’s House.

Wednesday-Sunday

Tower of London

Included in palace admission (members go free)

Beefeater teddy bear
This 'Beefeater' bear is splendidly dressed in a Yeoman Warder uniform, standing ready to guard the Tower of London.

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Historic Royal Palaces retail product - goblets and chess pieces

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