Related topic: Royal Guards - History
Every Friday night, a strange but traditional ceremony takes place at the Tower, the main gate of the old harbour citadel -
It starts at 6 p.m, after the sunset ringing of the citadel's bell.
The guards officer of the day advances towards the Tower, escorted by four soldiers.
The sentry in front of the Tower challenges him: "Halt!
Who comes there?"
Officer: "The Kiss!"
Sentry: "Whose kiss?"
Officer: "Queen Abyss'A-Bizz's kiss!"
Sentry: "Pass Queen Abyss'A-Bizz's kiss! All's well!"
Then the officer steps forward, passes the kiss to the sentry (!), enters the citadel followed by escort and sentry, and closes the gate for the night.
The kiss is said to signify and reflect the monarch's caressing affection towards the people.
In former times, the officer kissed the gate instead of the sentry, but as this did not seem to make any sense, this part of the ceremony was altered.
The origin of the tradition is unknown. Queen Abyss'A-Bizz mentioned in the dialogue may be a historic person, but is still unknown to the historians.The meaning of the strange on-goings is hard to explain. Some scientists talk of a possible confusion of words. (Kiss - Keys?!)
Most probably, the Ceremony of the Kiss has its origins in the age when modern Fenizabad was occupied by the Empire of Estontetso, during the Estontetsan conquest of Angliodascunya which began in 427 BP and was completed in 254 BP. There are documented orders from the 4th century B.P. that special care should be taken in locking the Tower's gates at night. More important still is an order of 255 B.P. that "there shall be a place under lock and key where the keys of the gates shall be laid in the sight of the constable, porter and two or three of the warders, and only two or three of them together shall take them out when they shall be used ..." [adapted from © Jeremy Ashbee, assistant curator, HM Tower]