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.

Trooping the Colour

This huge military event in Horseguards takes place on The Queen’s official birthday, and while most of the seats are for great and good, and relatives of participants, a decent quantity are made available to the public in a ballot.

This used to be by postal application, but this year the Household Cavalry is going online — and ballots will be held via their website. Applications can be accepted from 15th January 2018.

If selected in the ballot, based on previous years, you will be asked to pay around £30 per ticket, and can request up to 3 tickets. There is a strict dress code 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 free to attend, and tickets for those will also be released on 15th January.

The Garter Ceremony

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.

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.

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 free tickets to stand to one side and watch the Beefeaters and soldiers stomping around, shouting at each other and ceremonially locking the fortress.

Tickets to attend the late-night ceremony are free, and they recently dropped the postal application in favour of online — so book here. The sooner you book the better, as the waiting list is… well, let’s just say it’s quite long.


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  1. Dave Matthews says:

    My wife & I are visiting London/England for our wedding anniversary (her first time) with our special day, June 12th.

    I was wondering what the procedure is in acquiring 2 x tickets for the ‘Garter Ceremony’? We plan on visiting Windsor Castle but I would love to surprise Patricia on attending this special event.

  2. Julia says:

    FYI – the email address for Garter Day applications has changed. I believe it is now [email protected] but I’m waiting to see if that works (2 previous rejected emails – from the one on the official Garter Day website and from your email suggestion).

    • Kathryn Cameron says:

      I am also interested in obtaining tickets to see the 2019 procession of the Order of the Garter. I have seen several different email addresses listed on various websites — can you confirm the correct, most up-to-date email for us? Many, many thanks!

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