The Tower may lose its guards for the first time in 500 years
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the charity Historic Royal Palaces (HRP), which deals with the Affairs of Royal residences, was forced to close six of them, including the Tower of London. It opened on July 10, but now it will receive no more than 1 thousand visitors a day, and those who want to take a photo with Beefeaters вЂ” the ceremonial guard вЂ” are recommended to keep a distance of 2 meters.
The forced break deprived the organization of revenue, which directly depends on the number of tickets sold. According to HRP CEO John Barnes, profits have fallen by 80% during the quarantine, and now the organization is thinking about reducing the number of Beefeaters. According to ITV News, 2 of the 37 ceremonial guards have already agreed to resign voluntarily, but this is not enough. HRP has warned that it may cut several more people in the coming months.
The formation of Beefeaters was created under Henry VII. It serves retired non-commissioned officers of the Armed forces of the United Kingdom, whose experience is at least 22 years. Beefeaters can be recognized by their distinctive dark blue uniforms with red trim.
The present name of the Tower's honor guard is Yeomen Warders, which translates as вЂќ yeomen guardsвЂќ. Yeomen were free smallholders who once filled the ranks with the tower's guards. Historians believe that the unofficial name вЂњBeefeatersвЂќ appeared due to the privilege of the guards to eat meat from the Royal table in any quantities.