Ceremony of the keys - Tower of London

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#2
Los Angeles, CA, USA
3,205 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Hi Cathy,

We went several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the Ceremony. They take it very seriously and tell you where to stand, no photos, etc. This ceremony has been done for hundreds of years even during wars at 10:00 p.m. Write in plenty of time to The Resident Governor and Keeper of the Jewel House, Queen's House, HM Tower of London, EC3. Give your name, dates, and number of people (up to 7) and include a self-addressed envelope. Xerox yiur invitation because they take it away from your when you attend. I wanted to keep it for my scrapbook, but couldn't. Another great thing to do in London is to tour the Cabinet War Rooms, a labyrinth of wartime offices set deep underground. Churchill used them to make important wartime decisions and his celebrated wartime broadcasts. Clive Steps, King Charles St.
#3
MN USA
107 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I just got the invitation back in todays mail. Do you know how many people get to attend each evening?

We are sailing on the Norwegian Dream in June, with 3 days post cruise in London, I was so exicted to get the invitation today, Can't hardly wait for this holiday to start.

Do I have to contact anyone in advance to tour the Cabinet War Rooms?

Thanks

Cathy
Norwegian Sky,May, 2002
Carnival Spirit,March, 2003

6/6 Norwegain Dream
#4
Los Angeles, CA, USA
3,205 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Hi Cathy,

I don't think there were more than 35 of us attending. I could be wrong, but it was a small group. The Cabinet War Rooms are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Go to www.Fodors.com and see if they have any up-to-date info on this site. It was most interesting. Everytime we visit London, we try to find something we didn't see on our other visits.
#6
Fort Worth, Texas
102 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
I've attended the Ceremony of the Key twice. Highly recommended! Groups are kept small (I think around 30 or so).

The Ceremony is suppose to begin at 10 p.m. sharp. According to one story I heard, only once during its history has the ceremony started late: one night it did not start until 10:15 p.m. The man in charge resigned in disgrace. The reason he gave for not starting on time? Due to the number of German bombs falling in and around the castle: it was during the height of the Blitz.
#7
MN USA
107 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Thanks for the link Shoshona2.

I always like to do a few things just a bit out of the ordinary every trip we take.

All your info is much appreciated.

I'll be sure and arrive on time for the ceremony of the keys, certainly wouldn't want to be late, cause they're not going to wait for me. (Giggle)

Cathy
Norwegian Sky,May, 2002
Carnival Spirit,March, 2003

6/6 Norwegain Dream
#8
Los Angeles, CA, USA
3,205 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Hi again,

I found two different addresses to obtain tickets for the Ceremony of the keys -- which one did you two use? It says a STAMPED return envelope? Did you use U.S. stamps? My husband is going to Africa in February and spend three days in London. When I learned from the Frommers website that the Cabinet War Rooms is adding a Museum in January dedicated to Winston Churchill's life and times -- it's the 40th anniversary of his death. My husband is a history buff and will go back to the War Rooms to see this new museum.
#10
MN USA
107 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
http://www.londontown.com/London/Ceremony_of_the_Keys

The above website will give you the information you need to get tickets.

They ask for a coupon-résponse international, which is available at your local post office.

I applied for tickets about 8 weeks before our visit and received them only 2 weeks after sending the letter.

We are sailing on June 6, 2004 on the Norwegain Dream and spending 3 days in London post cruise. Attending the ceremony of the keys on Saturday.

Cathy
Norwegian Sky,May, 2002
Carnival Spirit,March, 2003

6/6 Norwegain Dream
#11
Illinois USA
378 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
I also have what I guess you would call tickets, but I am confused by no means is it an invitation, it is a green piece of paper with my name on it and the number of people attending, and the date is that it?
#13
506 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
gizmodog;
That is the same "admittance device" that we have. Green paper w/our name and number of guests.
Hardest part was getting the international reply coupons from the post office to put in the orginal request.

94 Fantasy - Bahamas
95 Fantasy - Bahamas
02 Inspiration - West Carrib
03 Sensation - Exotic West Carrib
04 Royal Princess - European Explorer
#14
MN USA
107 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I found the same problem with the international reply coupons, had to try 3 different postoffices before I found one that had them.

Cathy
Norwegian Sky,May, 2002
Carnival Spirit,March, 2003

6/6 Norwegain Dream
#15
Oakton, VA USA
624 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
We received our tickets 11 days after mailing the request I'm glad that I gave them 2 dates, as we got our second choice. Thanks to everyone for the information, we are looking forward to going!
#16
MN USA
107 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
I also gave them 3 dates, I am sure it increases your chance of getting tickets.

It took about 3 weeks for our tickets to arrive.

Cathy
Norwegian Sky,May, 2002
Carnival Spirit,March, 2003

6/6 Norwegain Dream
#17
CT
3,795 Posts
Joined May 2000
After trying several Post Offices around here, I still haven't found any International Reply Coupons, nor have any of these branches been able to refer me to any holders of these elusive coupons. The general response consists of scratching their head and saying "Gee, I think those IRCs have been discontinued ... Wait, let me check with Mike in the back ... Yep, we don't carry them anymore."

I may end up just sticking £5 in the envelope and hoping for the best!

Happy cruising!

Bill


Coming Attractions:

8/23/04 Royal Princess, 12 Day British Isles/Western Europe

3/6/05 Legend of the Seas, 11 day Ensenada to Honolulu

3/17/05 Legend of the Seas, 10 day Honolulu to Ensenada
#18
Oakton, VA USA
624 Posts
Joined Jun 2000
Maybe if you call or write my postmaster, they can send you one. The phone number is 513-697-9120 and it is in Cincinnati, OH 45249. The international reply coupons cost $1.75.
#19
506 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
We live in a rural part of our State. Our post office was able to order some from the main "regional" post office and have them in a day. They didn't vounteer to do that, but checkedn and agreed to do it when I asked them.

94 Fantasy - Bahamas
95 Fantasy - Bahamas
02 Inspiration - West Carrib
03 Sensation - Exotic West Carrib
04 Royal Princess - European Explorer
#20
CT
3,795 Posts
Joined May 2000
aqua & samscruiser: Thank you both for the good suggestions. I'm sure I'll get the IRC one way or the other. Thanks again.

Happy cruising!

Bill


Coming Attractions:

8/23/04 Royal Princess, 12 Day British Isles/Western Europe

3/6/05 Legend of the Seas, 11 day Ensenada to Honolulu

3/17/05 Legend of the Seas, 10 day Honolulu to Ensenada