"Ceremony of the Keys"-Tower of London

Jan 9th, 1999, 05:03 PM
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"Ceremony of the Keys"-Tower of London

Hi, I was wondering if anyone knew how far in advance you need to write for tickets? I would appreciate any help I can get.

Jan 9th, 1999, 05:53 PM
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We wrote last year about 6-8 weeks in advance for tickets for the second week of March and got our first choice with no problem. For summer, I would try to request much earlier, at least several months in advance. Our initial request was returned to us because we did not list each person's name and address in our letter, so keep this in mind. Also, don't forget to enclose two International Reply Coupons ($1.10 each from the Post Office). Good luck.
Jan 9th, 1999, 06:29 PM
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We got tickets in about 10 days in August but were told it would take at least 4 weeks. If they plan on 70 people, as we were told, our tour was only half full.
Jan 9th, 1999, 09:46 PM
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Hi, We were there in September, only about 12 in our group, twas a rainy, spooky night, perfect. You'll enjoy it. We wrote for our tickets 2 months ahead.
Jan 10th, 1999, 06:49 PM
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We were just there over Christmas and wrote for tickets about 6 months in advance. There were about 40 in our group and I thought they limit it to around 50. You can not take pictures inside the Tower during the ceremony so we did not take a camera with us and really regretted that decision. Would have loved to have pictures of the outside of the Tower and the Tower Bridge when they are both all lighted up. So be sure and take a camera for the outside shots. Great feeling being there for the ceremony -- well worth it.
Jan 11th, 1999, 11:12 AM
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I am going to London in April. I sent off my request for the Ceremony of the Keys on Thursday, December 31 and I received by tickets today, Monday, January 11. Pretty quick response time. I can't wait to attend and I'll report back once I return.
Jan 12th, 1999, 11:51 AM
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Could someone direct me where to find information on writing for tickets. I checked to see if the Tower of London had a web site, and couldn't find anything. I will be in London the first week of March, so I want to write soon! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Jan 12th, 1999, 01:28 PM
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Holly, write to:
The Ceremony of the Keys
Constable's Office
Queen's House
HM Tower of London
London EC3N 4AB

I don't know of a website, but if you do a search for "ceremony of the keys", you should come up with some information. Good Luck.
Jan 12th, 1999, 03:08 PM
Wes Fowler
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To all,
Let's see if I can consolidate all of this info and add a few essentials:

Get two international Reply Coupons from any U.S. Post Office Write to:

Ceremony of the Keys,
2nd Floor
Waterloo Block
HM Tower of London

In your letter indicate preferred dates you would like to view the ceremony and list alternate dates. List the number of tickets required and the names and addresses of everyone in your party. Include a self-addressed envelope measuring at least 5"x9" for the tickets. Expect a four to six week delay before receiving your tickets.

When you arrive at the outer gates, to gain a better viewing position, you have two options: at the extreme left of everyone at the cobblestone line by the Bloody Gate so you can see the middle part of the ceremony where the distant outer gates are locked, or dead center at the Bloody Gate where the first and last parts of the ceremony take place. For the last part, when the Yeoman instructs you to follow him, do so as closely as possible to see the end of the ceremony.

For the dialogue involved, check the website:
Jan 13th, 1999, 05:57 AM
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Wes and Flora, thanks for the info. I was in London last year and toured the Tower of London, but regretted that I didn't inquire about tickets to the Ceremeony of the Keys before I left. This year, I don't want to miss it!

Thanks for taking the time to give me so much information. Your help is much appreciated.

Jan 13th, 1999, 02:30 PM
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I'm just starting my planning for my trip to London in Mar/Apr. Someone PLEASE tell me--what is the Ceremony of the Keys? Should I hurry and write away for tickets? What do they cost?
Jan 13th, 1999, 02:47 PM
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Hi Caryn. The Ceremony of Keys is the ceremonial locking of the Tower of London at night. It takes place between 9:30-10:00 each night. The tickets are free, but you do have to write 6-8 weeks in advance and enclose either a self addressed stamped envelope or International Reply Coupon (which you can get from your local post office). I highly recommend seeing the Ceremony. It was really exciting being in the Tower at night, with only a small group of people around. I thought it was a more exciting ceremony than the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.
Feb 22nd, 1999, 02:12 PM
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Looks like I didn't read the forum
carefully enough before I sent my
request...I requested 4 tickets to the
Ceremony of the Keys for late April.
I included three alternative dates.
But I didn't include the names and
addresses of everyone who would be
attending...didn't see that information
during my web search.

I got a return letter saying:

"...regret to inform you that there
are no vacancies for the date(s)
requsted. If you will inform this
office, by letter, of an alternative
date or dates, providing there are
vacancies, arrangements will be made
for a pass to be sent to you. Please
provide names and addreses of those

It's clearly a form letter. So now
I'm wondering how to interpret what
the real problem is: (1) is it that
I didn't include names and addresses,
suggesting that if I resubmit the
same dates I might get tickets? or
(2) is it that tickets for the end
of April have already been snapped up?

Any thoughts? Time is moving quickly,
so I want to do it right this time!

Feb 23rd, 1999, 03:34 AM
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We went to the closing ceremony in September. By now you have discovered how to get the tickets and it is worth the effort. One work of warning - watch out for pick pockets. One member of our party was hit on twice. If your careful it won't be a problem - they look for the easy marks. Gale
Mar 3rd, 1999, 04:51 AM
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we are going to try to get tickets. what is the cost??? thanks for advising us of this event--we had never heard of it--but then there are a cabillion things we have not heard of in London!! cheers.
Mar 3rd, 1999, 04:51 AM
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we are going to try to get tickets. what is the cost??? thanks for advising us of this event--we had never heard of it--but then there are a cabillion things we have not heard of in London!! cheers.
Mar 3rd, 1999, 06:33 AM
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There is no charge.
Mar 4th, 1999, 07:26 AM
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We went to the ceremony in January. Unfortunately, there were 200 people there. Only about 15 had written for tickets, but then about 175 more joined us - most were drunk and one threatened to urinate on my friend. Spoiled the whole experience. How disappointing. We couldn't even hear what was going on!

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