Traces of Past Empires

By pastempires

Gibraltar Ceremony of the Keys

Here is the re-enactment of the Ceremony of the Keys in Gibraltar. The escort are dressed as soldiers of the 42nd Regiment of the Line - better known as the Black Watch - in uniforms of the time of the Great Siege in the American War of Independence.

This is a continuation of a tradition that goes back to the 19th Century British Garrison of the Rock. There was a short gap after the First World War and now the Gibraltarians maintain this as a commemoration of the many years Gibraltar was a Fortress in the British Empire and as a tourist attraction.

The keys escort marches through the Town to Casemates Square - the Casemates are former British barracks now shops, restaurants and pubs. There they are challenged - "who goes there?", "Kings George's Keys". Just as the Yeomen Warders still do in the Tower of London.

After enjoying the spectacle and some very fine pipe and drum playing you can adjourn to the Lord Nelson pub in the Casemates for fish and chips!

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