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London has preserved its old ceremonies and traditions to a greater extent than any other city in England. Most of these traditions have been kept up without interruption since the thirteenth century.
Foreigners coming to London are impressed by quite a number of ceremonies, which seem to be incompatible with the modern traffic and technical conditions of a highly developed country. Uniforms are rather characteristic of this fact.
All of you, of course, have seen English films and noticed official black dresses and white wigs of judges and advocates, though wigs have not been used for nearly two hundred years in other countries.
One of the most impressive and popular ceremonies is «Changing the Guard», which takes place at Buckingham Palace every day, including Sunday, at 11. 30. The uniform of the guards is extremely coloured - red tunics, blue trousers and bearskin caps, and they always attract London sightseers.
Another formal display is the «Ceremony of Keys» which takes place every night at 9. 53 p. m. when the Chief Warder of the Tower of London lights a candle lantern and carrying the keys makes his way with the Escort to the gates of the Tower and locks them. This ceremony takes place every night.
Strange as they may seem to a modern European or American, nobody in London sees anything remarkable in these old traditions which mix harmoniously with the city everyday life.
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