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Ceremony of the Keys: Tower of London

Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:25 AM
  #1  
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Ceremony of the Keys: Tower of London

Does anyone know if it is possible to get last minute tickets to the ceremony of the keys at the Tower of London? According to the Tower website, they are available only in advance by writing for them. Tickets are free, but one must enclose an self addressed envelope accompanied by international postal coupons. I had the letter all ready to go last month, but the coupons can't be bought online and our post office (wonderful post office, but totally rural) had never even heard of them. We live hours from any large towns/ post offices, so I just never sent the request. We'd love to go, though, if anyone has any advice on how to arrange it. Thanks in advance!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:31 AM
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We are arriving in London on November 20 and we have tickets to the ceremony.I too live in a very rural town (population 3,000).I went to my local PO and they called around several other nearby towns( all also very small towns)and were able to locate one lonely international reply coupon.As there is not much use for them, they are scarce but not impossible to find.I got my tickets within a week from mailing the letter. Good luck!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:40 AM
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You can find the coupons -- but it takes some effort in some POs. I would insist on the local postmaster getting you one -- they are regualr PO stock but some branches just don't bother.

You do need to write ahead for the tickets.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:40 AM
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I think it's too late for us, as we leave the first week in November. Our post office was not unhelpful in this regard. After they made a call to somewhere? they explained that the coupons are not actually US postage. They didn't offer to try to find any, either.

At this point I'm hoping to hear from someone who may know if it is possible to go in as a substitute for no-shows. Thanks, though.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:48 AM
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I believe the purpose of getting the tickets ahead of time is security. They want to be sure they know who they are letting in. Therefore I don't think they allow "substitutes". It's probably cutting it too close given your time frame, but I also got my tickets within about a week of sending for them. I remember because they tell you it can take a couple of months and I was surprised when they came so soon. So you still might have time. My rural PO also didn't have the international coupons but I called around and found a post office not to far away that did. I think you need to do that, not expect that your postmaster would do it for you. I do urge you to try as the Ceremony of the Keys was a wonderful experience.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:52 AM
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It is pretty unlikely you can attend as a walk-in. They stick to their rules pretty much to the letter. In fact they will return your request if a minor detail is omitted.

How many of you? They only issue one ticket to each party. "Mr. _____, party of 5" Once in a while there will be folks waiting out front w/ only part of their group. Late arrivals are never admitted so you MIGHT be able to hook on w/ someone who has missing friends/family.

It is a long shot -- but you can show up at the gate 30 mins ahead and see if anyone has room in their group.

I once took 13 folks -- had to break it into 2 requests because they have a limit of 7 per party. Anyway, 2 of our group decided not to go and we found a young man out front who was thrilled to join us.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:55 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I've called the two towns within easy (an hour) driving distance. I guess it's just not in the cards for us this trip--oh well---
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 10:56 AM
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Security might be part of the reason -- but mainly the reason for the advance reservations and needing the names/addresses is to prevent tour operators or ticket scalpers from taking advantage of the free tickets.

The ticket does not have the name of each person in the party -- only of the one making the reservation. And the Beefeater at the gate does not compare names against a master list.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 11:17 AM
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Thank you, Janis. All hope is not lost---we may just try that!
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Old Oct 22nd, 2004, 12:31 PM
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Your post office should still be able to order the coupon in.

That is how any post office gets them, your post office just isn't in the habbit of requesting them.

At least (unlike some branches) they didn't try to tell you there isn;t such a thing!

Keith
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