Top Photo of me with a Beefeater
The Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress the Tower of London, and Members of the Sovereign’s Body Guard of the Yeoman Guard Extraordinary, popularly known as the Beefeaters, are ceremonial guardians of the Tower of London. In principle they are responsible for looking after any prisoners in the Tower and safeguarding the British crown jewels, but in practice they act as tour guides and are a tourist attraction in their own right, a point the Yeomen Warders acknowledge.
In 2011, there were 37 Yeomen Warders and one Chief Warder. All warders are retired from the Armed Forces of Commonwealth realms and must be former senior non-commissioned officers or petty officers with at least 22 years of service. They must also hold the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. source
TOWER OF LONDON
THE CROWN JEWELS
The Crown Jewels at the Tower of London are a unique working collection of royal regalia and are still regularly used by The Queen in important national ceremonies, such as the State Opening of Parliament.
Photos were not allowed but I was able to gather some via the internet. Truly dazzling!
The closest I came to a Royal Crown was in a gift shop that featured a wall camera. If I stood in just the right spot with my head in the right positions, I had a crown upon my head.
We hurried to get in a visit to the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset
The Courtauld Gallery is located at the Strand entrance of Somerset House, in the heart of London with an extensive collection of paintings, mainly French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works.
From the Courtauld Gallery we took the underground to Westminster Abbey where we followed a self-guided audio tour. This Gothic style Abbey church was founded in the 10th century and rebuilt in 1517. It is a traditional place of coronations and burial site of British monarchs
Westminster Abbey is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. Benedictine monks first came to this site in the middle of the tenth century, establishing a tradition of daily worship which continues to this day.
The Abbey has been the coronation church since 1066 and is the final resting place of seventeen monarchs. The present church, begun by Henry III in 1245, is one of the most important Gothic buildings in the country, with the medieval shrine of an Anglo-Saxon saint still at its heart.
A treasure house of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles and other artefacts, Westminster Abbey is also the place where some of the most significant people in the nation’s history are buried or commemorated. Taken as a whole the tombs and memorials comprise the most significant single collection of monumental sculpture anywhere in the United Kingdom. source
internet photos of Westminster Abbey interior including the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (in the top right photo)
The present building dates mainly from the reign of King Henry III. In 1245 he pulled down the eastern part of the 11th century Abbey, which had been founded by King Edward the Confessor and dedicated in 1065. Earlier in Henry’s reign, on 16 May 1220, he had laid the foundation stone for a new Lady Chapel at the east end of the Confessor’s church, but as the Abbey’s own financial resources were not sufficient to continue the rebuilding of the whole church at this time no other work was carried out. source
walking the corridor of the Westminster cloister
sunbeams shining into the cloister
a stop at The Abbey Shop
enjoying a rest in the afternoon sunshine just outside the Abbey
walking toward the Parliament Building
and, just for fun…