Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London



In October 2007, I made a big jump and moved to London to study film making at University. Before I came here I was adamant I wouldn't stay much longer than my degree and that I would be home every summer. Neither of those things happened (except for the odd week or two I was at home) and nine years later I am still here.

When I was at university, one of my lecture halls looked out onto the Tower of London. It was literally a stone's throw away but I never went. There was always an excuse not to go... like I couldn't afford it or because I was going to the pub and would much rather spend my last fiver there with my friends. Such a student cliche.

Last year, Gary and I finally got to go to the Tower with his mum and not long afterwards I had a message from Charlie, Distracted that she had already booked tickets for us to go to the Ceremony of the Keys in January 2016, that's six months in advance. Girl is good.

I'm sure like most people in London/the country/the world, I had absolutely no idea what the Ceremony of the Keys was or that it was even a thing. Turns out it's pretty damn important.

The Ceremony of the Keys is deep rooted in tradition dating back roughly 700 years. Little has changed over this except for the names of the monarchs who come and go. The Ceremony has never been photographed or filmed and is, in a way, super secret. We were in a group of about 20 people and tickets need to be booked months in advance because they sell out so fast.

Everything about the ceremony screams splendour, from the pristine uniforms of the beefeaters, to the dimly lit streets within the Tower's walls. Watching the Ceremony of the Keys makes you feel (well, me anyway) that you're a part of something truly intimate and I think it's amazing that something like this is still going today. I mean, they're just locking up the Tower but all the pomp and circumstance makes it more than that.

If you want to experience this for yourself, go right here just bear in mind that they're free so you could also be making plans for six months time too. It's worth the wait though!

1 comment

  1. Really REALLY need to book my tickets for this!

    captaincharley.net

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