RG’s Ceremony of the Keys takes place in Casemates
The Royal Gibraltar Regiment, supported by the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force conducted the annual Ceremony of the Keys parade on Thursday evening in Casemates.
The Governor, Vice Admiral Sir David Steel, Commander British Forces Gibraltar, Commodore Tom Guy, Caretaker Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Joseph Garcia, and the Mayor, Carmen Gomez, were all present for the annual event.
“The Ceremony of the Keys is a long-standing tradition for Gibraltarians, British Forces Gibraltar, and all others to enjoy and a key event in the annual calendar,” said Commodore Tom Guy.
“Gibraltar is the only location other than the Tower of London to conduct such a ceremony and offers a brilliant opportunity to demonstrate the Armed Forces’ continued commitment to Gibraltar whilst reflecting on a rich shared history.”
“This fantastic event once again showcases the Royal Gibraltar Regiment, and I would like to express my appreciation to all involved in the preparation and conduct of the Ceremony of the Keys Parade 2023.”
Since the capture of the Rock in 1704, the Keys of Gibraltar have symbolised the possession of the Fortress by Great Britain. The Keys have come to be regarded as the seals of office of the Governor and as such are handed over from one Governor to the next.
The parade is a re-enactment of a procedure which took place each evening during the Great Siege and for the following 140 years. The event was discontinued for a short while after the First World War but was revived in 1933 as a ceremony and now takes place once a year.
This year the Outpost Platoon, Port Sergeant, Band of Corps of Drums were largely furnished by members of the RG Reserves.
“It is always an honour to be able to represent my Regiment. This is the 2nd time I lead the parade, but I’ve also executed the duties as a soldier in the past too,” said Outpost Platoon Commander, Second Lieutenant Kristian Dianil.
“The fact that the Reserves can contribute to such a big event certainly proves our commitment to British Forces Gibraltar and the community of Gibraltar as a whole. The Regiment is as much my family as my nuclear family, so it is a real privilege to be front and centre with my troops.”
The crowd were entertained with renditions of Yellow Submarine and God Save the King from the Band of Corps of Drums, who was assisted by band members from Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, Royal Anglian Regiment and Royal Signals.
“It is always a great honour and privilege for the Royal Gibraltar Regiment to deliver the Ceremony of the Keys,” said Commanding Officer of the RG, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Moore.
“The parade is a brilliant public spectacle and more importantly is a demonstration of how deeply engrained the Regiment is with the history and people of Gibraltar."