It's no secret that the British royal family members are sticklers for tradition. But did you know that they also have several superstitions? For instance, there's the saying that their royal gemstones possess 'mystical powers', and that reigning monarchs can heal people with one touch. But if you think those are bizarre, just wait until you hear about the six raven rule.
Per the Historic Royal Palaces website, there are six famous ravens that live at the Tower of London. And legend has it that if they leave, the kingdom won't fare well. So, we're curious to know: What's the story behind this royal rule? Keep reading for details.
What Is the 6 Raven Rule?
According to legend, at least six ravens must remain at the Tower, or the monarchy will crumble. We're not buying it, but apparently, the royals take this very seriously. Because as of now, six birds, known as "guardians of the Tower," live at the giant fortress. And yes, all of them have names: Jubilee, Harris, Poppy, Georgie, Edgar and Branwen.
Who Started the 6 Raven Rule?
Per the official website, it's believed that Charles II, who ruled in the 1600s, was the first royal to insist that ravens be kept at the Tower, thanks to a mysterious warning about the Tower falling if they ever left.
The site reads, "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."
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
What Happens If They Fly Away?
We doubt it will affect the monarchy—and we have proof. (Well, sort of.) In 2021, when the Tower had a total of eight birds (including two spares), one of them went missing, bringing the total number down to seven. Several outlets reported it as a bad omen, but Chris Skaife, ravenmaster at the Tower of London, confirmed it was all a myth.
In jest, he told BBC, "My concern is obviously looking after the kingdom. Should the ravens leave the tower, a great harm will befall the kingdom, it will crumble into dust..."
With a chuckle, he clarified, "Of course that's all myth and legend."
Now, however, based on the official site, there are officially six birds.
We doubt there's any connection between the ravens and the kingdom's fate, but it looks like the ravenmaster will continue to keep up with this tradition.
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