For our overseas visitors: Legend has it that when the day comes that the Ravens leave the tower (of London); then the tower will collapse. Hence, the ravens of the tower are very special birds, and even have their own keeper – the Raven master.
So today, 19/5; there was a lot of pomp at the tower as the the female raven was officially named; to go with her new brother Edgar, named after Edgar Allen Poe, the famous Poet. She is called Branwen.
The British public had been invited to vote for the name of the raven chick at the Tower of London with five names on the shortlist- Branwen, Matilda, Winifred, Florence and Bronte.
Yeoman Warder Chris Skaife said: ‘We’re delighted to have two new chicks joining the raven community here at the Tower. I hope that people around the world will help us to name our newest addition, and come and see them in person as they settle into their new home.’
They were born to the Tower’s resident breeding couple, Huginn and Muninn.
The name Branwen refers to the deity from Celtic mythology, whose name translates as ‘blessed raven’.
The new arrivals take the number of resident ravens to nine alongside, Jubilee, Harris, Gripp, Rocky, Erin, Poppy and Georgie.
The famous ravens are known as the guardians of the Tower and legend says the British kingdom and the Tower of London will fall if the six resident ravens leave the fortress.
Given there are currently nine ravens in residence, means there are plenty spare and the kingdom is safe.
Superstition dictates: ‘If the Tower of London ravens are lost or fly away, the Crown will fall and Britain with it.’
Charles II is thought to have been the first to insist that the ravens of the Tower be protected sometime during his reign between 1660 – 1685 after he was warned that the crown and the Tower itself would fall if they left. The King’s order was given against the wishes of his astronomer, John Flamsteed, who complained the ravens impeded the business of his observatory in the White Tower.
Protocol states there must be at least six ravens within the Tower grounds at all times, as well as one spare – an order that came from Winston Churchill after numbers fell to just one in the 1940s. With the two new baby birds, that makes nine – the required six, plus three spares.
Above – the tower of London
Phew ! – I can sleep safe tonight !
Oh England, my Lionheart!
Peter Pan steals the kids in Kensington Park.
You read me Shakespeare on the rolling Thames–
That old river poet that never, ever ends.
Our thumping hearts hold the ravens in,
And keep the tower from tumbling.
Kate Bush – Oh England my Lionheart