What is the Ceremony of the Keys

June 2, 2020 2:12 pm


Do you ever celebrate the keys and locks in your home? Probably not. Well you may jump up and down when an Emergency Locksmith Dublin comes to let you back in your home when your key breaks off in the lock, but we don’t celebrate each night when you lock your windows and doors.

Image credit

Well, this is the case every night at the Tower of London during the Ceremony of the Keys. At 9:52pm each evening the guards in full uniform exchange words as the tower is locked by another guard in Tudor dress. It is a ceremony that has taken place since the 14th Century and other than being delayed once during World War Two they have never missed a night.

Image credit

Once the gates are locked the Escort to the Keys (an actual job title) takes the keys and returns them to the Queen’s residence where they remain until the morning when the keys are collected and the Tower of London opened once again.

As the guards lock the gate they exchange ceremonial words before heading out the main drive of the Tower to have the keys escorted back to the Palace. It is a ceremony that you can see taking place if your visit the capital for sightseeing purposes.