Changing the Guard / Tower of London Guards

Officially named,  Her Majesty’s Royal Palace And Fortress - Tower of London, is protected by a detachment of the regiment on guard at Buckingham Palace and St James' Palace.

The Tower guard, comprising of one officer, 6 NCO's and 15 soldiers, post sentries outside the Jewel House and the Queen's House.

The sentries, at the Tower of London are changed every two hours and you can see them being posted and receiving their orders on a visit to the Tower.

The sentry at the Jewel House, is there, along with the Yeoman Warders and the Jewel House wardens, to protect the Crown Jewels.

The second post at The Queen’s House is a silent post, where the guard does not stamp his feet or make loud noises, which could disturb the occupants. Even when an officer makes a tour of inspection the sentry will whisper the reply ‘All’s Well’!

Coldstream Guards Changing the Guard at the Tower of London

Ceremonial Opening

The Ceremonial Opening takes place at 09:00 when the Duty Yeoman Warder and a military escort open the Middle and Byward Towers. Once the ceremonila opening is complete the public is allowed to enter the Tower of London.

The Word

At 15:00 The Officer of The Guard and escort, march to the Byward Tower to collect the Word.

The Word is the password, which is changed daily, for after-hours entry to the Tower of London. The Word used by Tower staff, residents and the soldiers on duty.

Ceremony of the Keys

Every night the Guards and Chief Yeoman Warder take part in the Ceremony of the Keys, when the Tower of London is locked up for the night.

Find out about the Ceremony of the Keys and how to apply for free tickets and the opportunity to witness a ceremony that has been performed every night for more than 900 years at the Tower of London.