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Visit London With its Rich History of Ceremony and Old World Customs

Beefeaters or Yeomen Warders

These Yeomen are commonly called Beefeater's and they are the ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. The name is thought to have come from the fact that they were given loads of meat to eat in part payment of their duties. Others believe it comes from hlaf -aeter which comes from the Old English meaning servant. Originally, they were there to guard the prisoners in the Tower. But now they act as tour guides to the millions of people who visit the Tower every year. As you can see in the first picture, The Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster is holding one of the Ravens. These birds have been at the Tower of London since the time of King Charles the Second, and the belief is that if they ever leave, then the Tower and the monarchy will crumble and fall.


Yeomen of The Guard

As you can see from the costumes, these Yeomen are actually Royal Bodyguards of the Queen. their costumes are different from the Warders. These men are all retired from the Armed Forces and must have served for at least 22 years. The Yeomen Guards and the Yeomen Warders change costumes all depending on whether there is a state occasion. The Warders also wear red on these occasions. Here you can see the Royal Bodyguards with the queen.


The day I met Diana, Princess of Wales.

Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace

This ceremony is performed at 11.30 every day during the summer months, and last for about 45 minutes. The new Guard marches from to the Palace from Wellington Barracks with the Guards band, and change with the old Guard, who then return to the Barracks. These soldiers are not just there to perform duties for the Queen, they are serving Soldiers in the army and perform their duties around the world.


Changing of the Guard

The Birth Place of Legends

The State opening of Parliament

The State Opening of Parliament is the traditional beginning of the Parliament session. The main purpose is the for the Queen to formally open Parliament. The speech is to deliver the outline of the Governments new policies, and the legislation for the coming session, and also to take notes of the last session. This normally takes place in November or December. The Queen is escorted by The Household Cavalry, and attracts huge crowds on route to Westminster.

The State Opening of Parliament


Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2014:

Hi Pamela, thanks so much for reading, and I am glad you liked it, nell

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on June 18, 2014:

This is an very interesting hub, and visiting London is #1 on my bucket list. Love all the information your have shared. Awesome!

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Nell Rose (author) from England on June 18, 2014:

Thanks Chitrangada, it is a lovely place, I do hope you get to see it sometime, thanks so much for reading, nell

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on June 18, 2014:

Visiting London is my dream and thanks for sharing this interesting hub!

I have always admired this place, for its rich culture and tradition and Indians love that! Although I have never been there, I keep on reading a lot about this beautiful and royal place. My father had visited London in connection with his work and we have lot of pictures, similar to those you have shared above.

Wonderful presentation, voted up!

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 31, 2013:

Hi molly, thanks so much for reading, yes london is an amazing place, I love all the old buildings and the history, hope you get to come over, nell

Mary Strain from The Shire on July 30, 2013:

Nell, I dream of coming to London one day. In fact, I have read so many books by British authors that I almost feel I already have. I didn't know the legend of the ravens -- interesting! Although I would have given their original presence at the Tower a slightly more macabre meaning *shudder*. Love these hubs about your home!

Nell Rose (author) from England on July 30, 2013:

Hi Mary, I was going to but I thought I would wait a while because of all the rush to publish about him around the internet. You would certainly love london, I hope you get to see it soon, and thanks!

Mary Hyatt from Florida on July 30, 2013:

I'd sure like to see London. It's one of those places I read about and wonder about. I love all the pomp and circumstance there. Are you going to write about the new Prince George?

Very informative Hub. I voted UP etc. and will share.

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 03, 2012:

Hi Urban, sounds great! I am actually going up there again this week, hopefully! I haven't been for a while and they have obviously updated bits and pieces, thanks for the info, sounds wonderful and scary! lol!

Claudia Dias from London on June 03, 2012:

In the Tower of London, I find that kids always get very intrigued by the sound effects at the White Tower to simulating the voices of the little princes disappeared there in mysterious circumstances. That and the visual sightings of a ghost on the CCTV screen at one of the other towers can keep their imagination going...

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 02, 2012:

Hi alocsin, lol! the poor kids must have really been scared! they do it deliberately, I remember when I was a small child and hearing them do it, frightened the life out of me! I am so glad you had a good time, and thanks as always, nell

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on June 02, 2012:

We were in London a few months ago and had a great time with our beefeater tour guide at the Tower. He liked to scare the children by suddenly raising his voice on one word at them. The kids probably hated it but we adults were having a good time. Voting this Up and Interesting.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 07, 2012:

Hi Urban Healing, I never realised that about the raven being able to count, wow! lol! its a great City, and never tire at exploring all the great places to visit. Its definitely a place that you have to stay for a while, to get to see all the great museums, Palace and art galleries too, thanks so much for reading, cheers nell

Claudia Dias from London on May 07, 2012:

I love this hub! I've came to London for a two weeks holiday seventeen years ago...I fell in love with London, it's people, parks, history, architecture, traditions...also with the fact that it's so cosmopolitan with people from many different countries - their traditions, their cuisine, and their costumes.

What a great photo of the Yeoman Warder Ravenmaster - he has told me once that one of the ravens knows how to count to 9,ravens are intelligent birds. I've done a lot of Shamanic research at the Tower of London during Henry VIII 500th years coronation aniversary.

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 14, 2012:

Sounds interesting, can't wait to read it, thanks!

Kitty Fields from Summerland on April 13, 2012:

Yes, Bran also is a part of Irish mythology. He has actually come to me in a dream recently...and might be the next patron god that I incorporate into my practice. :) Neat, huh?

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 13, 2012:

Hi, just came back to say, Bran was a giant and king of Wales, Bran is translated as Raven! Wow! learn something new everyday! lol!

Nell Rose (author) from England on April 13, 2012:

Hi, kitty, I will go take a look, I hadn't heard of that before, sounds fascinating, thanks so much as always, nell

Kitty Fields from Summerland on April 13, 2012:

The Ravens at the Tower of London have something to do with the legend of Bran. I just read it recently so its interesting that I picked this hub of yours out of the bunch and read about them again! Look up the legend of Bran (I believe it's both Irish and English but I'm not entirely sure). :) Thanks Nell. Wonderful as always.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 30, 2011:

Hi, JamaGenee, I know, I should get up there and see some of londons sights! lol the trouble is there are so many places to see, this one just escaped me! ha ha thanks again nell

Hi, chspublish, yes you are so right! so many lovely places, I always end up going to the museums, I love the Natural History and Science museum, and the British Museum, I actually stayed in the Mummies section for about an hour! I couldn't stop looking at them! thanks again, nell

chspublish from Ireland on August 30, 2011:

Love the place and will never tired of it as there is always something new and exciting to learn and discover there.

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on August 30, 2011:

Shame on you! lol! Having been to Westminster Abbey, I had to admire and at the same time feel sorry for Prince Philip for making his way up that long aisle unassisted at Will and Kate's wedding. One can't grasp how truly huge the place is until you've been inside.

Many of London's landmark churches are "free to see"...i.e. no entrance or ticket fee...when attending regular Sunday services, which are open to the public. Of course, you don't get to see things like WA's Poet's Corner, but I think one gets a better sense of history sitting in a pew for free since the ceremony of the service itself will not have changed much over the centuries.

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 29, 2011:

Hi, JamaGenee, lol true center of civilization! well, most of the time! ha ha no, perhaps some of the time! it is all the nooks and crannies that I like too, turn a corner and you find something really interesting, I am glad you liked it in the end, you are lucky I have never been to Westminster Abbey! how sad is that? ha ha

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on August 29, 2011:

Several branches of English blood compel this "accidental American" to think of London as the true center of civilization. I practically had to be dragged there kicking and screaming, but after a week I didn't want to leave! It's not just the pageantry and ceremony, it's all the nooks and crannies tucked here and there that are crammed with history. IMHO, London also does statues and memorials better than any other city.

I made it a point to attend a regular Sunday service at Westminster Abbey. Couldn't get over the awe of actually being in the place where kings and queens had been crowned, christened, married, and buried for a thousand years. The Tower of London had much the same effect.

btw, the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle is worth seeing too! ;D

Nell Rose (author) from England on August 28, 2011:

Hi, Lene, you never know you may have been! lol thanks so much, cheers nell

Lene' Lynn St. John from Glendale, AZ on August 28, 2011:

I went to England for the first and only time (so far) on New Year's Eve of 2006 and I LOVED it! I especially love London! And I think I was a princess in a past life because I LOVE the palaces and castles! I feel right at home in them! hehehhe! :)

Nell Rose (author) from England on January 22, 2011:

Hi, Duchess, I hope you can come over to visit England I am sure you would love it, and thanks for reading it, I really appreciate it, cheers nell

Duchess OBlunt on January 22, 2011:

I always come late to the party. Working full time means I have to "catch up". I'm glad I saw this one on my travels through HubLand today. I very much enjoyed it. One day, maybe I'll make my trip across the waters and actually see some of this.

Thanks for sharing this. Nicely done.

Nell Rose (author) from England on December 17, 2010:

Hi, shygirl, I am so pleased that you liked it! we do tend to have lots of ceremonies over here, especially at Buckingham Palace, I haven't been for ages, now I want to go and see it again! cheers nell

shygirl2 on December 17, 2010:

Oh thankyou Nell so much! I love anything to do with England and of course London with all its pomp and ceremonies. So traditional, yet still exciting to see. Its almost like seeing a parade every day. Exquisite as well as formal. But, none the less...a great adventure! :D

Nell Rose (author) from England on June 10, 2010:

Hi, saddlerider, thanks again for your lovely comments, I like hearing about your travels. I do hope you manage to get back over, you can take in Edinburgh castle and cardiff castle as well. thanks again nell hugs from little old England.

saddlerider1 on June 09, 2010:

Another great hub on your beautiful city London. I was fortunate to be there in the month of July 68 and saw the Trooping of the color, Queens birthday. I waved to her with my Canadian flag, lol. I also witnessed the changing of the guard a beautiful sight. Yes the Yeomen or Beefeaters are interesting colorful chaps. I didn't know about the Ravens and how the Yeomen were paid in meat, very interesting indeed. I loved my visit as I mentioned in the first hub you put out. I hope to someday go back and visit England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland before I die. peace and hugs from across the Pond

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 28, 2010:

Hi, prasetio, thank you so much for the rating, I really appreciate it. and I am glad you liked it. thanks nell

prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on May 27, 2010:

Beautiful hub from you, Nell. I really enjoy all information inside this hub. Thumbs up and I rate this one. Good work, my friend!


Nell Rose (author) from England on May 27, 2010:

Hi, Mickey glad you liked it. That's your next bike trip, riding through london in the rush hour! ha ha thanks again nell

Micky Dee on May 27, 2010:

Another great trip Nell! Thank you Dear!

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 27, 2010:

Hi, Polly, I was looking for Princess Diana on hubpages and there are loads of hubs about her, so i am not sure what to write yet. I think I will probably just write about meeting her and what happened that day. thanks for the idea again. Nell

p.s. What is the next one going to be? I am enjoying this!! ha ha

Pollyannalana from US on May 26, 2010:

The idea hit just as I was answer your reply and I thought how I would love to live it though your eyes, it will be great I know, and don't leave out a single little thing of how it went and how it affected you. Make me live it can do it!

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 26, 2010:

Hi, Polly, wow, another challenge! ha ha thanks to you I got some great ideas for this hub and the other one. I will have to do some research as I remember so many things about her, but I will have to get it in order. Did I tell you I met her?! Oh yeah!! she came to my small town and opened a wing in the local hospital. I was just going shopping, I had my bike with me for goodness sake! and I realised what was going on, it was only around the corner from me. I saw the car pull up, and she got out, and I thought ' oh my God, she is so tall! she towered over me. I stepped forward and she came towards me. She smiled and I reached out and shook her hand! she was so sweet and lovely. I think I will start with this on my hub! see you done it again! ha ha thanks nell

Pollyannalana from US on May 26, 2010:

Well you know by my hubs, ideas are no problem to me, I have too many thoughts and interests and I think it really is not a good thing for scoring but it does me good to talk about all that is on my mind, great therapy too, and I would love to hear more and more from you, really I would love to hear what it was like for you with Princess Diana, from beginning to end, I would find it so fascinating to hear how one of her own looked upon it all, from the young girl and then knowing Charles chose that hag over her, I'm sorry but that is how I felt about it and if you didn't well that is your right but I would like to know. That may take several hubs but I am sure many would be glued to you to see how it really was. And William, so like her it seems, it breaks my heart. She will always be Princess Diana to all of America! We did and always will love her.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 25, 2010:

Hi, gigi, what a great Valentine's day out. I have visited so many places in london, but as I said above, I always seem to go to the same places recently. I want to go back to the Tower of London, as I haven't been for years. thanks again nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 25, 2010:

Hi, BJBenson, I am glad you liked it, and I am sure you will get over here one day. You will love it. thanks nell

Hi, mulberry, I haven't been to see the changing of the guard for years. Everytime I go to London, I always seem to go to the same places! I must change my way of travelling and go see it again. Thanks nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 25, 2010:

Hi, Joshua, I am glad that you liked it, and thanks again for reading it. Nell

Gigi2 from UK on May 25, 2010:

Great hub, I love the historical side of London. Hubby & I visited the Tower of London for Valentine's, it had been too many years and it was great fun. It was a pleasure to read your hub and a timely reminder of how lucky we are to have such a diverse and fasinating capital. Thanks.

Christine Mulberry on May 25, 2010:

Interesting. I would love to see the changing of the guard. I'm happy to say I recognized a few faces in the audience at the state opening ceremony.

BJBenson from USA on May 25, 2010:

This was a gem of a hub. I do like the pictures too.

I never made it to London, but I hope some day...

Levi Joshua Kell from Arizona on May 24, 2010:

Thanks Nell, cool hub. I enjoyed it, as I do all of your hubs that I have thus far read.

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 24, 2010:

Hi, Janny, glad you liked it, I am trying to find out some more interesting facts about london, so I will see where it gets me. Thanks as always, nell

Hi, Green Lotus, I know what you mean about the school kids! everywhere you go, at the Palace, or even at the museums, i am surrounded by munchkins! lol Now you have started me of with that song! thanks again nell

Hi, Audrey, I will give you a ring when I get there! ha ha straight to the bar, and then visit the Castles! yeah! oh, and the vicarious living as well! thanks nell

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on May 24, 2010:

Oh do go to Scotland for me so that I can live vicariously there, too!

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on May 24, 2010:

Ah this one brought back some memories Nell. I've seen the changing of the guard, although it was difficult with all the school kids clamoring for the best view! I also grew up singing the A.A. Milne song, "They're changing guard at Buckingham Palace..Christopher Robin went down with Alice". I'll be humming that now for at least a day now :)

JannyC on May 23, 2010:

This was Rockin Nell! I so loved this! Learned something new and a bit of history too. I am going to read part one. I missed it some how!

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 23, 2010:

Hi, Granny's House, thank you so much for your comments, I really appreciate it. I am glad you enjoyed it. I am having to go look for some more now! London's a big place, what can I do next? Don't know yet, but I will go see if there are any other bizarre things! thanks again nell

Nell Rose (author) from England on May 23, 2010: