Normal answer about the Crown Jewels; “Yes, these are the real ones!”
LONDON TOP ATTRACTIONS: Near a thousand years ago, William the Conqueror began to build a massive stone tower at the centre of his London fortress. Nothing like it had ever been seen in England before. The ruthless William planned to dominate the hearts and minds of the Londoners and he succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Tower of London still holds us in its thrall. People come to discover the Tower´s myriad stories. You may still hear the steady beat, deep within the ancient stone walls.
To help you make the most of your day, we recommend some tours of buildings and exhibitions. For more, go to the website Tower of London
This is London: Rough, strange, bizarre and full of character
Tours of The Tower
The Crown Jewels: This array of coronation regalia has been here since at least the 17th century. “Yes, these are the real ones”, is the answer to the most frequently asked question. The real gems are not hidden away in a secret vault, they are just a few centimetres away. The most modern objects on view today were made for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The Bloody Tower: Some of the most famous executions in English history took place at Tower Green. Imagine the last moments of three queens, and see torture instruments.
The Ravens play games
The names of current ravens are Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Merlina. Each has its own personality; they can mimic sounds, play games and solve problems. The ravens are fed twice a day by our Raven master and dine on a special diet of mice, chicks, rats and assorted raw meats. As a special treat, they are given biscuits soaked in blood.
Go to the website and pick up your Tour of The Tower
The name Beefeaters
The Yeoman Warders – often called Beefeaters – have been at the Tower of London since the 14th century. Join one of their entertainment tours and enjoy 60 minutes of intriguing stories, secrets and bloodthirsty tales of the Tower.
Moira Cameron of Argyll, Scotland made history when she became the first female Yeoman Warder ever in 2007. The name Beefeaters is likely from the time when the Yeoman were paid part of their salary with chunks of beef.
Marriage and Execution
We know that life in the Tower could switch from happiness to death – on the same day. July 28 in 1540 was such a day. Henry VIII married wife #5, Katherine and he could hardly keep his hands off his young bride. Later the same day, the execution of the king´s once all-powerful chief minister, Thomas Cromwell.
Cromwell was a prisoner in the Tower and the fallen minister wrote a series of impassioned letters to his king, assuring him of his innocence and reminding him of his long years of faithful service; “Most gracious prince, I cry for mercy, mercy, mercy.” Cromwell’s words fell upon deaf ears and it took three blows of the axe to sever his head.
But Henry VIII himself soon realised the enormity of his mistake in getting rid of such an exceptionally talented, efficient and shrewd operator, for there was no one at court even approaching Cromwell’s genius to replace him. The king was soon admitting the loss of ‘the most faithful servant he had ever had.’
Get me there
Address: The Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB
Tube: Tower Hill station (5-minute walk) – served by the District and Circle lines. Tower Hill station has step-free access to street level.
Bus: Routes 15, 42, 78, 100, and RV1 stop nearby the Tower of London.
All major sightseeing bus tours in London pass by.
Tower of London Tickets: Child 14, Concessions 23, Adult 29, Members Free. Buy online to save time.
More of London: Seven Most Important Museums