This article is old – for 2022 ceremonies, go here.


Early each year is the time to dust off the paper and envelopes and remind yourself of those sticky things people used to put on those envelopes before email – to apply for tickets to some ceremonial events.


There are three grand ceremonial events that the general public can apply for:

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.

To enter the ballot to qualify for tickets, you have to send a brief letter saying how many tickets (up to 3) you want, along with a stamped addressed envelope and your name will go into the draw.

Your request can only be sent during the months of Jan and Feb.

Send your application to:
Brigade Major
HQ Household Division
Horse Guards
London SW1A 2AX.

You MUST include that stamped addressed envelope.

If selected in the ballot, you will be asked to pay around £25 per ticket, and can request up to 3 tickets. There are also a couple of “Tesco Value” options for the rehearsals that take place a few weeks before the main event which are free to attend, and details will be included in the reply.

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 to 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.

To apply, send a letter with all the names of the people attending, two possible dates at least three months in advance and a stamped addressed envelope.

Send your application to:

Ceremony of the Keys Office,
Tower of London,


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One comment
  1. Lara says:

    Garter Day tickets requested!!! 🙂

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