The Ceremony of the Keys has been taking place at the Tower of London every night for the last 700 years — to put that in perspective, that’s roughly 200 years before Ferdinand Magellan “discovered” the Philippines. Talk about tradition! The only time in recent memory that the ceremony was interrupted was during an air raid in World War II: the Chief Yeoman Warder and the escort fell from the shock of the bombs, but they simply stood up right after, continued the ceremony, and wrote a formal letter of apology for the delay to King George VI. It’s one of those traditions that justify their own existence and I’ve wanted to see it ever since I read about it in Tom Clancy’s Patriot Games.
Getting tickets used take some effort for people who live outside the UK, but starting this year, you can get them online. Tickets are free — there’s just a £1 booking fee — and are downloadable in PDF form that you can print at home. You have to book as early as possible, though, as the number of tickets available per night are limited and tend to run out quickly.
How to get tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London
© Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. Contents verified as of 26 January 2015.
Amazing, isn’t it?