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.


Source

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.

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 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

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Comments 69 comments

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 6 years ago from India

Most Indians of a certain age have grown up on British lore, and even if we haven't actually seen any of this it is so familiar! :)


valeriebelew profile image

valeriebelew 6 years ago from Metro Atlanta, GA, USA

Very interesting. I am much enjoying this little jouney through England. I have often heard of the Changing of the Guards, but have never seen it until now. Well done! (: v


Youngcurves19 profile image

Youngcurves19 6 years ago from Hawaii

Great pics fun to read.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

Another lovely hub, Nell Rose!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

You have done a great job here. Well done, Nell.


Joshua Kell profile image

Joshua Kell 6 years ago from Arizona

Hi Nell. I loved your hub. I have never been to England, but my son has been begging me to take him there; also he wants to vistit France, for some reason. So I do believe we'll be heading over that way, before the next school year starts; and I have already taken some notes from your hubs, which I shall use as a guide in part. Thanks for another great article. Great pics also. Thank you.


ladyjane1 profile image

ladyjane1 6 years ago from Texas

Great hub Nell I have always wanted to go to England. I saw a funny I love lucy episode where she was trying to make the guard in front of buckingham palace laugh and it was too funny. Nicely done cheers.


sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I'd bet a lot of people would enjoy seeing pictures of Kensington Palace and all of the white lounges in the park, I know they were quite a sight to me.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Feline, yes I remember seeing a programme about India, I love watching them, and I realised that a lot of Britain's history was taught in the schools. I am glad you liked it. thanks again nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Valeried, nice to see you, sorry it took so long to answer, but It was a brilliant hot day today, we don't get many!, and I was laying outside trying to barbecue myself! ha ha thanks for reading it, and I am glad you liked it. thanks nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Youngcurves, nice to meet you, and I'm glad you liked it. cheers nell

Hi, carolina muscle, I aim to please! ha ha thanks again nell

Hi, Hello Hello, thanks for your nice comments again, I really appreciate it. Nell

Hi, Joshua, sorry I haven't been over yet, so busy, I will fall over soon! ha ha I am glad these hubs are helpful, Just have a good time if you do get the chance, you will love it. thanks nell

Hi, ladyjane, I think the poor guards have people all the time, trying to distact them. I wouldn't be able to keep a straight face! thanks again nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, sheila, I have never actually been there, I will certainly go and see for myself one of these days. thanks again nell


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Thanks so much, Nell for the virtual tour! Now I wish I could see England as well as Scotland, Denmark and Germany! Beautiful pics!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Audrey, Well, come on over! you would love it, and just one day in london would be enough to see quite a few sites, as it is easy to get from one to the other. I have never been to Scotland, which is pathetic really as I am only eight hours away by car! One of these days I will. Thanks again nell


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

Hey there you go again and I thought you were out tomcatting around and you've done a whole new hub. Americans are familiar with all these costumes your guys wear over there but I was just sitting here thinking its like watching the "Wizard of Oz". All you need is a Munchkin or two. Great Pictures!


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

Nell, good to see you again. Thank you for the great hub. The pictures and video were perfect.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

Hi, Polly, ha ha you do make me laugh!I can see them now, follow the yellow brick road! I sometimes think that the Royals are so behind the times, they forget we are in the 21st century. But it's good for the tourist trade. This hub is your fault! ha ha i am getting carried away with the London ones now. Seriously, thanks for asking for it, otherwise I would still be sat here with my dumb hat on, not knowing what to write about. thanks nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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


JannyC profile image

JannyC 6 years ago

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!


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

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 :)


akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

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


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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


Joshua Kell profile image

Joshua Kell 6 years ago from Arizona

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


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

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

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


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

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.


Gigi2 profile image

Gigi2 6 years ago from UK

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.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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 profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

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 profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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 profile image

Pollyannalana 6 years ago from US

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 Nell...you can do it!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Another great trip Nell! Thank you Dear!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

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

Prasetio


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

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 profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England Author

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.


shygirl2 5 years ago

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 profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England Author

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


Duchess OBlunt 5 years ago

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 profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England Author

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


Lene Lynn profile image

Lene Lynn 5 years ago from Glendale, AZ

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 profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England Author

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


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

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 profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England Author

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


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

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.


chspublish profile image

chspublish 5 years ago from Ireland

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


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England Author

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


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

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 profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

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


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

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!


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 4 years ago from the Ether

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 profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

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


Urban Healing profile image

Urban Healing 4 years ago from London

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 profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

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


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

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 profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

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


Urban Healing profile image

Urban Healing 4 years ago from London

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 profile image

Nell Rose 4 years ago from England Author

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!


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

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 profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England Author

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!


mollymeadows profile image

mollymeadows 3 years ago from The Shire

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 profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England Author

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


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

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 profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

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


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England Author

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

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