Even if you’ve never been to London, I’m sure you’ve seen these guys. Bright red and dark blue tunics, funny hats, they look like you’ve suddenly stepped back in time at the gates of the Tower of London. In a way you have. Back in 1485, the new king Henry VII of the Tudor dynasty formed the Yeomen Warders as his bodyguards. When the king moved his court from the Tower, he left twelve Yeomen to guard the garrison. Today they are ceremonial guardians of the Tower and the Crown jewels, and tour guides. For 700 years, the Ceremony of the Keys has been performed every night to secure the Tower gates. If you book early, you can watch this incredible ceremony complete with rifles and yelling. Sounds like a good time to me!
The Ravensmaster is responsible for looking after the ravens of the Tower. Since the time of King Charles II, the ravens have been a part of the grounds, and legend has it that should the birds ever leave, the monarchy will crumble. To ensure this never happens, the ravens wings are clipped. They’re also said to be the real beefeaters since they are the only ones to still receive a daily ration of beef.
All warders are retired military with at least 22 years of experience, and hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. In 2007 the warders welcomed the very first female to their ranks. All warders and their families may live on the Tower grounds, some rooms dating back to the 13th century.