Early each year is the time to plan ahead to attend some of the UK’s grand pomp and ceremony events for the summer ahead. This year being the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will likely also be a rather special one to be at the regal events.

Two events are available by random ballot, and one you can book tickets to attend — good luck, they’re “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities to attend.

Trooping the Colour 2022

This huge military event in Horseguards normally takes place on The Queen’s official birthday, but this year will be on Thursday 2nd June for the Jubilee. While most of the seats are reserved for the great, the good, and relatives of participants, a decent quantity are made available to the public in a ballot.

If selected in the ballot, based on previous years, you will be asked to pay around £40 per ticket, and can request up to 3 tickets. There is a strict dress code of smart wear if you attend.

There are also a couple of options for the rehearsals that take place a few weeks before the main event which are usually free to attend — and are basically the same ceremony, but with a senior military officer standing in for The Queen.

If you’re not sure if it sounds like your sort of thing, go anyway as it’s a lifetime of envious looks from friends. I went in 2018 and it was marvellous – review here.

The ballot opens on Monday 17th January, and you can apply here from Monday 17th January.

The Garter Ceremony 2022

Not in London, but inside Windsor Castle, this is a rather glorious procession by most of the Royal Family and a lot of people in fancy clothes through the Castle to an ancient church service.

It’s also very relaxed, with people sitting on the lawns with picnics and enjoying the usually summery weather that we get in June. It’s also one of the rare events where the Royals dress up a bit in fancy clothing rather than their usual day wear.

Garter Day is expected to take place on Monday 13th June 2022.

To request tickets, send an email in Jan or Feb ONLY to [email protected]  with your name and address. You can request up to four tickets. They are free.

I attended in 2011 – review here.

Ceremony of the Keys

This is a regular one – being a private ceremony that takes place inside the Tower of London every night, but is not visible by the general public.

You can however apply for tickets to stand to one side and watch the Beefeaters and soldiers stomping around, shouting at each other and ceremonially locking the fortress. Note that unlike the other two events, this is one that takes place in private, so photography is NOT permitted. This is also why it’s so much more special to attend, as there’s hardly any photos of the event to look at. It’s only ever been filmed once in its history.

At the moment they are releasing tickets typically up to a month in advance, so if you’re looking to book for a specific date (birthday!), put a note in your diary a couple of months before to check for tickets.

Tickets to attend the late-night ceremony cost £5 per person and can be booked here.

I attended in 2017 – review here.

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