This February, as the UK celebrates LGBT+ History Month, the Tower of London will open its doors after-hours for Queer Lives, a theatrical tour that explores the LGBTQ+ people who lived, loved and died at the historic landmark.
Queer Lives is a journey through 700 years of history where visitors will encounter fascinating characters from the 14th century to the present day, celebrate stories of defiance and reflect on the LGBTQ+ stories linked to the famous fortress throughout the years.
Hosted by an extravagant ‘raven’ tour guide – inspired by the Tower of London’s legendary guardians – Queer Lives is based on extensive research by Historic Royal Palaces curator Matthew Storey.
Offering a unique view inside the Tower of London, Queer Lives will take in ancient turrets, military battlements and a medieval royal bedchamber as visitors encounter a host of fascinating characters from the Tower’s rich history.
Queer Lives will uncover how King Edward II’s relationships with young men at court sparked rebellion and bloodshed.
The King and his favourite, his closest political and emotional ally, Piers Gaveston, are often thought to have been lovers. Edward never had a mistress and even at his wedding banquet the King is said to have given more attention to Gaveston than to his new Queen.
Visitors will also learn about how King James I earned the nickname ‘Queen James’, after his private life was shadowed with rumours concerning his male favourites and possible lovers, notably Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.
Queer Lives returns to the Tower of London for 5 nights only, following a popular run in early 2020. The cast is led by singer, actress and activist Mzz Kimberley – aka Kim Tatum – who will become the first trans woman to lead a theatrical performance at the Tower of London.
The unique tour is directed by Tom Latter and written by the award-winning Chris Bush (Sheffield Theatre Associate Director), making this a theatrical event not to miss for gays, theys and allies alike.
Tickets: Adult £25 / Concessions £20 / Historic Royal Palaces and Equity Members £22.50.
Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Queer Lives tours last approximately 50 minutes and start at 17:30, 18:30 and 20:00 on 18, 19, 22, 23 and 24 February 2023.
British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted tours will run on 22 February 2023.
Queer Lives does not include daytime admission to the Tower of London and will not include access to the Crown Jewels.